Friday, May 02, 2014

Silverlens Galleries is pleased to present Water Spirit, a solo exhibition by Denise Weldon featuring black-and-white photographs of water in various forms and contexts.

Science and religion, though they may seem to be disparate, converge on one point: Life is impossible without water. “It cleanses you both physically and metaphysically,” states Denise Weldon, when first asked what drew her to focus on water. Though she is the first to admit that she is not really sure if there is a conscious process to the way she creates her images.

“I never really stop taking pictures. I like to call it foraging, and as that foraging happens, patterns, themes and ideas emerge. So Water Spirit began with an inclination towards dots. Dots as design … as elements … as water … on glass and on surfaces. It became a game of connecting the dots. Then, after, the dots came the awareness of reflection and the refraction. There was this moment as I was studying the drops of the water. I became cognizant that the drops of water aside from having reflections of the bigger picture in front of them, had shadows within them that were silhouettes of both the outlines of the drops and the reflection! It was a ‘coming forth’ moment of sorts. I saw that in something so small, there is something much grander, deeper and wise that documents and records everything.”

In Tagalog, the word for ‘wet’ and ‘read’ is the same, though they are pronounced differently. There is a philosophical parallelism, if one takes the time to think about it. To be able to truly read a book, a work of art or indeed a person, we must wash away our biases, our preconceived notions, perhaps even our fears. “When I realized that water droplets contained shadows, I was excited to have learned something new.” Water is clear, and yet it reflects back to us what we want to see. It is see-through but everyone sees different levels of transparency, of light and shadow. It is clear, and yet it can hold all colors.

“Everything is reflective; everything is biographical,” Weldon concludes when focusing on what goes into creating images. Seeing that there can be great depth in a little droplet is indicative of Weldon’s own search for what lies beyond the obvious. She admits, “I am currently curious about what makes a memory? How do we make memories? It’s an on-going curiosity. We capture them in so many ways today with the multitude of technology available to us but are not the moments fleeting, and for how long will they exist. The longer I reflect on this, I realized that we have to be deeply alive to create a memory, and for it to be etched in our memory bank. A lot of what constitutes memory is a combination of an emotional and sensory experience, and of being awake and present to that moment.

Marcel Proust once wrote: “the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment.” But in the case of Denise Weldon, a memory is not a regret but a celebration, a means of honoring the majesty of an ephemeral moment, and the many more to follow.

Denise Weldon is a Manila-based photographer who has been living in Asia for over 40 years and the Philippines for nearly two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, with a Major in Fine Arts: Photography, and Minors in Art History and Spanish. She has been a Board Trustee of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines since 2009. — Leah Puyat

For more details, please call (63 2) 816-0044, (63 917) 587-4011 or email: info@silverlensgalleries.com.

Silverlens Gallery is located at YMC Bldg., 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

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