Featured at The Manila Times, Life and Times, 20th of October 2008

Her Winding Maze of Enchantment

Katrina Pallon’s “Labyrinth of Blooms: A Prelude to A Masquerade”

By Evan Tan, Contributor
Katrina Pallon’s art reveals the beauty that is waiting to be found.

The 22-year-old visual artist’s first solo exhibit entitled A Labyrinth of Blooms: A Prelude to A Masquerade, currently on show in Halo Organic Store and Café at Cubao Expo, Quezon City, lures you into a realm of romanticism, beauty and wonder. In Pallon’s world, magic and mystery are undeniable truths, and her artworks capture the vignettes of this ethereal existence.

Hers is a world where the real and the imaginary are one. As you enter and get lost into it, you will find a place where everything dissolves into a surreal haze of enchantment, in which dreams are palpable and the amazing, commonplace.

Her works are full of vivid depictions of the extraordinary and the surreal: here, grief results into an eruption of orchids and irises from one’s chest; a moon goddess stares haughtily as she smokes pipe whilst unperturbedly carrying a cat in her arms and a bed of flowers and fabrics lavishly welcome the bodies of women. It is a wonderland of possibilities.


Stories of inspiration

Through a fusion of flowers, Pan-Asian motifs and other design elements, she displays power and sensuality in every piece. “My artistic works are influenced by art nouveau, Indian and Thai art, prints and patterns on Asian tapestries, Venetian masks, flora, circuses and carnivals. Certain striking elements I remember from some of my dreams—crimson roses blossoming from withering trees, flowers in place of hearts springing out from different body parts, blood splatters forming art nouveau and/or art deco patterns—have also been major sources of inspiration for my compositions,” Pallon shares.

The stories in her works stem from her rich thoughts and experiences: “Summer Solstice” is about her comparison of a muse to an unending bright and beautiful summer’s day. “Purple Flowers for Felisa”, meanwhile, is a tribute to her late grandmother who had a fascination for the said color. On the other hand, “Her Fire Garden” is her visual take on a woman’s promiscuity. The exhibit pieces are unified by the brazen celebration of women.

She explains the meaning behind the exhibit’s title. “As with labyrinths that are ancient symbols of wholeness, representing journeys of going and looking into the core of things through purposeful—albeit meandering—paths, one needs to look closely into each composition and see past the interspersed elements, designs and colors rendered in watercolor, acrylic and ink, as I relate different stories of women through each painting and/or photograph.”

The subtitle A Prelude to A Masquerade, she further elucidates, refers to how this exhibit serves as a prologue to a grander exhibition slated for early 2009.


The artist who is Katrina Pallon

Katrina Pallon, a Magna Cum Laude Visual Communications alumna from UP Diliman, is a recipient of numerous awards, both in academic and fine art competitions. Aside from receiving an Award of Merit for Thesis in the Publications Category and an Award of Excellence for Thesis Research for her thesis, a coffee table book on masks and the MassKara Festival of Bacolod City, her photography works have also been featured in the “200 Best Images 2005 by Epson Photo Imaging Exposition”. Her graphic fiction entries are finalists as well in the first and second Philippine Graphic /Fiction Awards and are included in both compilations.

The multitalented artist, who sings for independent Goth rock band Scarlet Tears and participates in spoken word events such as “Romancing Venus,” is a maximalist who describes her style as a blend of Art Noveau and surrealism, with an Asian feel.

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