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Carpenter’s son carves name as visual artist (Art on the oil spill)

October 21, 2007

By Ma. Diosa Labiste
Inquirer, 10/20/2007

ILOILO CITY – A carpenter’s son carved a name for himself when he won in the recent Metrobank Art and Design Excellence competition, proving to himself that he was right when he decided to become an artist despite being “poor and struggling.”

Harry Mark Gonzales, 26, won the grand prize in sculpture with his terra-cotta piece “A protest over the Guimaras oil spill.”

What he has done was a tour de force. The red clay was smeared with blackened oil that is not unlike how the bunker fuel choked the mangrove, rocks and marine life during the oil spill off Guimaras Island on Aug. 11, 2006.

The 14-inch work makes a statement on the ecological disaster through twin figures—a dying fish swimming to the bottom of the sea and woman with mouth open, as if gasping for breath on the surface of the water. It was a moving metaphor to the destruction brought by the oil spill.

“I visited the beaches of Nueva Valencia in Guimaras at the height of the oil spill. I went home and carried with me overwhelming sentiments over what I saw,” Gonzales said.

(For the rest, click Carpenter’s son.)

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