Starweek Magazine

Art inspired by nature

- Dina Sta. Maria -

MANILA, Philippines – I haven’t met anyone who has been to Batanes and has not been totally charmed by the place. Superlatives gush forth, nevermind the threat of typhoons or the lack of electricity and other creature comforts. Thought to be inaccessible all these years because it is always mentioned in the same breath as typhoons that come into the country’s area of responsibility, Batanes has long been on the fringe, almost like the edge of the known world.

Those who have ventured there though are more than amply rewarded. Artists, especially, find unique inspiration in the rugged, pristine character and beauty of the landscape that is like no other in the country. 

Camille de la Rosa is the latest in a growing list of artists who have drawn inspiration from the beauty of the province. Batanes’ most famous artist is, of course, the late Pacita Abad, world-renowned and whose house on a hill in Tukon is now the Fundacion Pacita, site of the Pacita Abad Center for the Arts.

As a visiting artist, Camille was provided room and board at the Fundacion, as well as a guided tour of Batanes and a lot of opportunity to paint the sceneries of Batanes.

In exchange, she conducted free painting workshops for young Ivatan artists and public school art teachers. She also donated her paintings to the Fundacion for its collection of artworks by visiting artists.

She has also agreed to do a Batanes series of paintings that will be exhibited in October. Half of the proceeds form the sale of the paintings will be donated to the Pacita Abad Center for the Arts to support young Ivatan artists through art workshops and competitions, art scholarships and public art installations, like the one on display at the Basco airport terminal. Funds will also go to the construction of an art gallery and workshop at the premises of the Fundacion Pacita in Tukon, where tourists can observe young artists at work and where their works – as well as those of those of Pacita Abad – are displayed.

To view Camille’s Batanes oil paintings (pre-sale bids will be accepted) and to know more about the arts in Batanes, please contact Myla Pisig, executive director of the Pacita Abad Center for the Arts, at tel. 0917-795-8153 or email [email protected].

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