Tuesday, January 20, 2015

“My sun sets to rise again,” wrote English poet Robert Browning. Existence is a process of cycles — of leaving and returning. The universe is balanced in this manner, in a way that brings everything in a sort of union. And humanity is only one aspect of this idea. Indeed, we live our lives to return to where we began.

Artist Meghan Geliza, a Filipina-New Zealander, explores these ideas in her practice. “Looking back on different pivot points in my life,” she says, “I could see now that I’ve always yearned for concepts of union, connection, and oneness.” In charting out the path of her future then, it becomes necessary to come back to where things began. This is the approach of her new exhibit, “Origins,” at Art Underground in Mandaluyong City. The exhibit is a voyage of self-discovery, in which the end and beginning are connected in a never-ending loop of equilibrium and balance.

Terra Oceania
8.5 x 11
Graphite on acid-free paper

8.5 x 11
Graphite on acid-free paper

In this exhibition, which opens on January 17, 2015, Saturday, 6 pm, Geliza attempts to merge both the spirituality and aesthetics of her twin homes of New Zealand and the Philippines. Currently based in Auckland, her work is characterized by vivid energy and dynamism that is tinged with serenity. She plays with the binary aspects of her own history and experience, and the resulting oeuvre is highly-nuanced and technical. Working in a diverse range of media — from acrylic on canvas to graphite on paper — the artist demonstrates a contemplative approach to her art.

Giclee art prints copy

“Union involves contradictions, dualities, contrasts, and differences,” she says. “Hard and soft, strong and fragile, chaos and order, smooth and rough, yin and yang. The magic is when the disparate still find reason to meld.” Geliza brings this idea out in works like “Terra Oceania,” a work of graphite on paper to brings together the rigid complexity of spherical patterns with the organic subtlety of oceans and the sense of touch. In “Fluster,” the idea of cycles is demonstrated by the round surface of the artwork, which is broken up into different geometric patterns and allusions of texture. “I’ve kept the elements in these works universal and didn’t allude to the cultural iconography of any country,” says Geliza. “It is to draw attention to the primordial aspects of ourselves untouched by man-made history or ideology.”

30 x 20
Graphite on acid-free paper

This integration of universal spirituality with a high technical aptitude is not surprising, considering that Geliza was classically trained in Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, which is supplemented by a Postgraduate Diploma from the Wanganui School of Design in New Zealand. She has also exhibited in many countries, from New Zealand, to Australia, Thailand, to the US. She recently participated in a travelling group exhibition in Los Angeles and London, and has also done commissioned work in Germany.

Giclee art prints copy

Her exhibition at Art Underground is her first solo show in the Philippines which will run until January 27, 2015.

8.5 x 11
Graphite on acid-free paper

23.5 x 29

Art Underground is located at 814 Balagtas Street, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. They may be reached through their landline at (632) 721-0745 or email at

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