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Silverlens Galleries presents Wawi Navarroza’s ‘Tierra Salvaje’

WAWI NAVARROZA: Tierra Salvaje

by Eva McGovern

Silverlens Galleries presents Wawi Navarroza’s latest solo exhibition Tierra Salvaje, where she examines the “wild landscape” via a material inversion of space and scale that constantly shifts in between the detached clarity of photography and the expressive nature of painterly abstraction.


Tierra Salvaje runs from 30 April – 31 May 2014. The opening reception is from 6-9 p.m., 30 April 2014.

Responding to Silverlens’s most intimate space, Navarroza presents ten new and small- scale photographic works that combine abstracted and ephemeral “dirt/earth drawings” that are juxtaposed and physically layered on top of prints of her landscape images. Re- photographing these unique collages, the resulting work destabilizes the fixed nature of photographic surfaces as well as creates an esoteric interrogation of the common ground that connects us to the land through soil itself.

This is a relatively new direction for Navarroza, albeit with echoes of the sensorial methods evident from her earlier works, now informed by ideas revealed from direct encounters with raw materials taken to the experimental laboratory of the studio. Moving away from her location-centric and evocative mise-en-scene process of image making, she instead stays indoors to reconfigure the monumental into something more tactile and human. Dirt, lava ash, carbonates, and industrial pigments, all acquired whilst on previous projects or from the everyday materials found in and around her warehouse home-studio, are intuitively arranged and manipulated into ephemeral
gestures that transform the pictured landscape. Functioning as both three-dimensional organic matter and two-dimensional ‘drawings,’ this combination of assemblage, draftsmanship and photography not only produce aesthetic hybrids, but also more fluid intellectual ‘territories’ to discuss the potential of landscape as subject/material in contemporary photography today.

Wawi Navarroza is a photographer/multi-disciplinary artist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from De La Salle University Manila and received the Asian Cultural Council – Silverlens Foundation Grant (2008) to attend the ICP, New York. Navarroza completed her scholarship at the Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid under the program European Master of Fine Art Photography in 2012. She is the recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Award (2012), the Ateneo Art Award (2007), Lumi Photographic Art Awards, Helsinki (2011), and was finalist for the prestigious Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2011) and Singapore Museum Signature Art Prize (2011).

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