If people think portraits sewn with thread only belong in their grandmother’s piano rooms, artist Eugenia Alcaide is out to prove them wrong.
No cross-stitching miss, Alcaide is behind the latest exhibit at the Art Informal gallery in Greenhills, Mandaluyong City. The show runs from July 19 to August 4.
Threads features 39 pieces rendered in black cotton thread on white silkscreen. These are portraits of the friends and family of the soft-spoken, yet incredibly sharp Alcaide, who paired the two materials to “give an illusion of movement and a feel of 3-D.”
“Why this medium?” asked the shy artist in an interview with InterAksyon. “Because I found the characteristics I was looking for in thread and silkscreen: the linearity matched with the transparency of silk. The concept is to use thread to create volumetric form.”
She began using thread in college while doing her thesis for her degree in Fine Arts, major in Painting, at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, in 2006. ”My thesis was continuous line-drawing using thread. My work now is an evolution of it.”
Although she is not alone in using thread for her craft, Alcaide said the concept behind the pieces was hers alone. ”I’ll be introducing a traditional material used in an unconventional way.”
The critics and collectors are impressed. ”Original. Brilliant. One of a kind,” said art aficionado Dr. Steve Lim of Alcaide’s work. He bought six of her pieces even before they were put on display at Art Informal. “You won’t see any other artist who does this work. [It's] captivating. You wonder how she does it.”
This wondering is exactly what drives the artist to create her pieces. ”My inspiration is to entertain viewers, as well. I imagine them imagining the way I do each piece,” she told InterAksyon.
To think that she only rediscovered this particular art form last year, when a collector saw one of her pieces and bought it.
“Before, I focused on accessories-making. My love for art came back to me [then]. I was inspired.”
Though the creative process is sometimes difficult and at other times joyful for Alcaide, her meticulous work is always appreciated.
“The clear depiction of length, breadth, and depth, the nature of materials used, and the mindfully skillful handiwork share a familiar province with that of sculpture or architecture,” wrote Art Informal curator Joel Alonday of her art.
It is an experience that is a marvel to behold.