IF YOU’RE thinking of lines, brush strokes, and canvasses, this exhibit is not for you.

Pilipinas Loud and Clear, a month-long exhibit at the Australian Center in Paseo de Roxas, Makati City features works of Australian artists Jenny Sanzaro and Rowena Friemann. The works are products of their three-month stay here in the Philippines.

The two artists based this exhibit on the fast-paced lifestyle of the people in Manila. To them, “even though things did not seem quite as clear, a certain loudness and in-your-face-ness persists.”

Indeed, the hustle and bustle of the city sometimes deafens people from hearing their own thoughts. Aiming to make people listen is the singular motive of this exhibition.

A freelance illustrator and nanny in Sydney, Friemann’s art works focuses mainly on the maltreatment of children. Her sympathy for the children’s plight, particularly the condition of street-children in Manila, is seen on two polaroid photos, “Manila Flavored” and “Human Junk”. Both showing mutilated images of dolls whose limbs ahve been grotesquely thrown into a heap, the sthots serve as a metaphor for lost innocence and abused childhood.

Friemann’s work also illustrates the impact of Spanish and American colonialism in the country, manifested through religious rituals, church edifices, and street signs.

Using a variety of materials, Friemann depicts these influences in art pieces “Civilization?,” “Bless our home,” and “Voyage”. Through velvet, mat, and acetate papers, Friemann explors and experiments on different types of materials that makes her art a perfect expression.

Sanzaro’s work, on the other hand, is mainly animated by her interest on diverse cultures. The two basic themes of her work are religious life and the vestiges of Spanish influence.

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Caught off-guard

The pieces ”Pananampalataya” and “Christo Feng Shui” show images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary on silkscreen and computer print.

“Rags to Riches Series” and “Sa ibang araw” reminisce about colonial times-Filipinos in barong tagalog and baro at saya. Like Friemann, Sanzaro also uses unconventional materials. In “Rags to Riches Series”, she used old flour bags or katcha as canvass for her painting.

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