HIGHLIGHTING the rise and evolution of female empowerment was the exhibit by over 30 women visual artists in Malakas at Maganda held at the Executive House of the University of the Philippines-Diliman March 22 to April 30.

The exhibit was organized by the Kababaihan sa Sining at Bagong Sibol na Kamalayan (Kasibulan), an organization which aims to promote and enhance the artistic growth of female artists. It displayed works of mixed media depicting the female form, pieces complementing the mainstay furniture at the Executive House.

Julie Lluch, a UST Philosophy alumna and Kasibulan old timer, created “For Georgia,” a white cast marble sculpture of a vagina mounted on a bright green oval board.

Meanwhile, Baidy Mendoza created a terra cotta series titled “Malakas at Maganda,” which showcased imprints of the stars and sun on a bright red backdrop.

According to Mendoza, the pieces symbolize the mythical Malakas and Maganda.

“These are myth symbols of our lives that when treated separately are just there interacting with one another, but when put together, creates a larger galaxy of lives,” Mendoza said. “Still, both must exist in harmony; [both must] always [be] moving to attract and inspire each other.”

“Pang Od and Heidi, Celebrating Womanhood,” a watercolor piece by Fel Plata, featured a realistic rendering of an old woman tattooing a long leaf stalk along a woman’s spine. It symbolizes the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Brenda Fajardo’s ink-on-paper piece titled “Baraha” featured a triptych or a three-panel image, titled “Kahinahunan,” “Katatagan,” and “Babaylan.” These images present women as strong, peaceful, helpful and understanding individuals.

Meanwhile, nature was the main inspiration for Advertising Arts alumna Doris Rodriguez with her terra-cotta sculpture, “Handog,” depicting a pregnant fairy, revealing the artist’s fascination with mythical creatures.

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“I have always been fascinated with fairies since I was a little kid. Fairies for me are full of energy, lively, strong and have a big heart. I want to depict them as good creatures,” Rodriguez said.

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