The Manila Bulletin, 12 August 2013

Katrina Pallon
An Inspired Life

By Hannah Jo Uy

Katrina Pallon is not just an artist, she is a luminous entity composed of burning, creative energy. As a painter, a designer, a musician, and self confessed globetrotter, Pallon doesn't have to look far for inspiration. Instead, she lives the essence of an inspired life, and her art are the private moments of her personal journey that she has opted to share.

"Ever since I was a kid I loved to draw and to paint," says Katrina. "It was a hobby at first. Towards the end of my high scholl I was gearing towards journalism, but things changed."

Craving for something that was more suitable to her hunger for diversity, Katrina opted to go to University of the Philippines Diliman, where she studied Visual Communications in the College of Fine Arts. After graduating in 2007, Katrina was sure she was headed for a career in advertising, but her creative spirit led her to another direction.

While working as a graphic designer, one of Katrina's friends, in seeing her watercolour works, was struck by her potential. After goading her to explore painting, Katrina started to boldly express her artistry on canvas with oil, leading to her first exhibition in 2008 at the Halo Cafe in Cubao Ex entitled "Labyrinth of Blooms."

From her debut exhibit, one can see how women figures dominate her works, as well as her inclination for floral elements. "I think flowers are symbolic," Katrina adds. "They could represent blood, they can be violent, they could be something good, something sad, depending on composition." Under Katrina's brush, these women are elevated, exuding an almost regal, and ethereal aura. Katrina's women are not necessarily larger than life, they are life in all its natural beauty. They are a representation of Mother Nature in different forms, in different times, and in different cultures, they are one woman, all women, and no particular woman. Above all, they are beautiful.

"The beauty of women has always been my inspiration," says Katrina. "My works are very personal." She further explores this with the unveiling of her 3rd solo exhibition this coming August 12, 2013 at the LRI Art Pavilion entitled, "Illuminata."

As the title suggests, the show will feature Katrina's exploration of light including elements of lanterns in her works which reflect the illumination and enlightenment  that Katrina experienced in her creative process.

"I feel like I'm on a journey, we're all on a journey," says Katrina. "There are different stages in life, and this particular stage I'm in is my inspiration for this exhibit, personal 'yung pinaghuhuhugutan. On top of that, I'm inspired by my travels around Asia; so this upcoming one is inspired by Hoi An, it's a quaint little town in Vietnam that I fell in love with last December."

Katrina's need to travel is not only the result of her restless spirit and adventurous nature; her travels are also her form of meditation, her pilgrimage for inspiration and her way to expand her visual repertoire. Simply, it's her way of life. "Traveling is my priority," Katrina emphasizes. "Experiencing the culture, architecture, the galleries, I use them all and incorporate my personal experience."

Aside from travelling, Katrina's painting process is also fuelled by  music. "I take my time when it comes to painting. I have a strong painting drive, sometimes I forget to eat when I start to zone in. If it's very emotional, I make sure the emotion is contained and processed before translating it. And music plays a great part. for this series, I listened to a lot of Florence and the Machine. It's weird; sometimes I need complete silence, sometimes I need to listen to one song on repeat, sometimes I have a playlist for one painting." Music is not only central to Katrina's art, but music is also Katrina's art being a musician herself.

A woman of diverse talents, Katrina's spirit is not only inspired, it is inspiring. Her work is made meaningful by her life, as a witness and a testament to a life bravely and lovingly devoted to the arts.

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