Text by Rachel Hansen, images by the Filipino Artists Association of Sweden
An Art Exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden
Last December 9 -15, 2022 the Filipino-Swedish community in Stockholm were lavishly treated to a spectacular Art Exhibition aptly entitled 7641 Reasons. As you can probably guess, the number was inspired by the Philippine islands, and the boundless creativity of the Filipino people wherever they are. The Exhibit showcased the brilliance of ten Sweden-based female artists using a variety of art genres.
On display were paintings, sculptures, pottery, lights installations – all representative of the Filipino identity, tradition, culture and history. The ten artists and their respective art expressions consisted of the following:
In her remarks at the Opening, H.E. Ambassador of the Philippines Maria Lumen B. Isleta lauded the organisers and artists as she characterized the exhibit as an effective mechanism in promoting greater appreciation and understanding of Filipino art and artists in the international community. She also called on them to continue to build on and reinforce the close cultural linkages between the Philippines and Sweden through their passion.
The exhibit was organized by FAAS - the Filipino Artists Association of Sweden founded by Aya Sunga-Askert, Helen Svendgaard and Mary Grace Svensson. It was sponsored by Elle´s Kusina and Westers Art. Established in 2018, FAAS is a community of established Filipino artists in Sweden and the organization continues to cultivate and support creative growth amongst its members.
You may visit FAAS at www.filartswe.se
1. Aya Sunga Askert - Flutter
Multidisciplinary artist Aya Sunga Askert showcases her multifaceted pen strokes through FLUTTER, a collection of poems that celebrate love in all its passionate hues and that revel in the splendour of nature with wondrous appreciation. In this exclusive book, Aya explores different styles of poetry, from elfchen to sonnet, from haiku to prose. flutter is a literary creation that attempts to pique emotional and intellectual curiosity and its sleek cover design aims to serve as an objet’d art that can be added to a reader’s home decor.
2. Helen Svendgaard's colourful abstract art
Helen is an artist and photographer who works on colourful abstract art. Her time in an art school in Manila introduced her to the world of colours, while Sweden awakened her love for photography. Her works convey a sense of life and happiness. Most of her abstract paintings are sceneries of places she has seen and reflects motif shifts between impressionism and realism/naturalism.
3. Anna-Linda Gabriel's handmade, uplit presence of Glowies in glass or crystalin glass or crystal
Anna-Linda has a Norwegian/Italian mother and a Filipino father. Half her life has been dedicated to working with glass as an artist, mainly in Sweden where she is permanently settled with her own family. She has a studio at the glass museum The Glass Factory in the kingdom of glass in Sweden and has done numerous national and international exhibitions and projects alongside public commissions. To develop collectively made art through curating programs that connect her with people is also a great part of her artistic practice. It is clear that the diversity of her cultural heritage has influenced her artwork. By sculpting with glass as a medium that carries the qualities of nature's four elements both aesthetically and in its own material, Anna-Linda uses glass to explore our time's relation to our common deep descent from nature.
4. Bella Q. Bardollas - Botanical Abstracts
Bella is an artist that focuses on found objects, particularly botanicals. Her body of work, which she refers to as botanical abstracts, addresses pleasant emotions and a sense of belonging. For this collection, she used plants obtained during her walks, as well as flowers saved from various flower shops in Stockholm and Uppsala. These flowers were ready to be thrown away and would undoubtedly contribute to the rising amount of waste generated by the floral industry. This series of works is her response to the call for more sustainable practices in the arts.
5. Emelia White Eklund - Portraits in Abstract
Emelia is a self-taught artist and a photography enthusiast. Her paintings vary from landscapes to abstract portraits. She loves being with nature and enjoys taking photos of flowers and places.
6. Mary Buskas - Amor
Mary is a painter who has demonstrated her innate artistic ability since childhood. Mary’s art reflects her interest in the beauty of the Swedish nature and her paintings emanate a sense of joy and serenity. She uses oil and acrylic to create brilliant colors and interesting compositions. She hopes to keep experimenting in the art world. Through education, she hopes to help children uncover their creative potential.
7. Elizabeth Labarda-Kronquist
Elizabeth is a painter, professional makeup artist, fashion illustrator, graphic artist & web designer. She has a great eye for detail. Using mixed media or digital art, she puts together creations with whimsical colour scheme. Her watercolour, acrylic, gouache paintings and illustrations are known for their dreamy colours. She looks at everyday life and paints them in a nostalgic world, from small canvases to murals.
8. Isabella 'Bella' Smolarski - table lamp
The name "Lilla Labbet" pays homage to what founder Bella Smolarski believes to be a designer's best friend - all the little experiments we do before we get to the coveted final product. She believes slowing down to think carefully about where our products come from and how they will eventually end their lifecycles is an important part of the design process. Bella likes to mix Asian and Scandinavian design traditions in her work with wood and brass objects.
9. Marga Lacson - infusion of the fluidity of nature and her usual taste of the earthy rough textures
Marga is the granddaughter of a Philippine National Artist, Lucrecia Reyes Urtula. Conceivably where she takes after with her passion for the arts. Joining the Filipino Artists Association in Sweden has motivated and inspired her to pour out her soul, feeling the emotion and translating that into a canvas. The art that she has created for this exhibit has been inspired by the fluidity of nature infused by her usual taste of rough textures. Her fascination over different mediums and creating textures in her work are evident in her more recent masterpieces.
10. Ophelia Casel Persson - Colours of the South
Gothenburg-based artist, Ophelia has been honing her skills in acrylic and oil painting for the past decade. She is originally from Mindanao and is fascinated by the diverse and rich culture of the different tribes that live there. Her goal is to convey the beauty of festivities that transcend from the different indigenous groups living in the southern part of the Philippines.