Stone comes to life and life turned to stone: Wawi Navarroza’s ‘Medusa’ exhibit at Silverlens

Wawi Navarroza returns with another much-anticipated solo exhibition entitled Medusa at the new space of Silverlens Galleries in Makati, Metro Manila, ongoing until June 3, 2017.

In this exhibit, the artist calls forth the Medusa and the Gaze that can turn the Seen into Stone. Spending the last two years in field work, photography, research and hours at sea —not unlike the voyages depicted in mythology, always a trip over the sea—she alludes to searching for the philosopher’s stone, this time: in marble—as material and muse. Albeit not the Greco-Roman kind familiar to art history but a Tropical one. Her lyrical images take place in a small South-East Asian island entirely made of marble from mountain to seabed, hidden by thickets of palm trees and a lush green, situated in the Philippines: the island of Romblón.

Not attempting to do a documentary or reveal the map of the journey from ‘quarry to table’, the artist insists on a perspective seen from the poetics (and problematics) of the gradual movement of marble from Mountain to Dust through human agency and machinery. She has imagined a world where the dust lifts and settles on The Work : the hard stone, hard sun, hardened men, softened by a lightness of vision, photographs with the grandness of historical painting, giving it importance, the colossal toil it takes to extract the mountain to polished stone; also refracting a mirror to the complicity of art to nature, a stage for the uncanny.


The exhibit comes together with large-format photographs, sculpture/installation, and a durational painting. We are invited to re-examine whose gaze—the spectator’s, or the artist’s, or perhaps photography itself—has petrified that which have been pictured, and what we can glean from it in light of our disruptive times. But the memory of the mountain stays in all that is marble, its veins the river of planetary time, as we write our histories engraved in stone.

Medusa will be on view until June 3, 2017 at Silverlens, Lapanday Center, 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. For inquiries, contact or +63917 5874011.

About the Artist

Wawi Navarroza is a multi-disciplinary artist from Manila, Philippines known for her works in photography. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from De La Salle University, Manila and attended continuing education at the International Center of Photography, New York. Navarroza completed her education with an award from the Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid under the program European Master of Fine Art Photography.

Navarroza’s approach to photography is malleable, less as a documentarian but as an author of a visual language she creates and assembles. Her art is expressed through tableaus, portraiture, still life and installation, informed by research and by referential use of materials. She investigates displacement, disorientation, discovery and the idea of shifting locations as a response to her surroundings.

Navarroza has exhibited in Singapore Art Museum 8Q, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Asian Art Biennale at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan.

She received the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award, the Ateneo Art Awards, Asian Cultural Council Fellowship Grant, New York, Lumi Photographic Art Awards, Helsinki, Finland, and is currently finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2017.

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