Oil spills spurs protest artApril 10, 2008
The News Today
April 9, 2008
(The body of the fish is furrowed with wave-like patterns, undulating, streamlined from gills to tail. This sculpture is a perfectly haunting metaphor for the destruction wrought by the lamentable oil spill)
An ecological disaster of immense magnitude and dire consequences, the Guimaras oil spill was a nightmare visited upon a quiet island notably famous for the exquisite sweetness of their mangoes. More than just a cataclysmic event, the oil spill was a wounding and desecretation of nature, indeed a trauma not to be soon forgotten. Like a hideous stain of sin, the menace of the oil spill spead through the once healthy mangroves nurturing the fish of the sea and penetrated within the dense foliage like a cancer that has tenaciously taken residence within.
Thus, the subject of “A Protest Over the Guimaras Oil Spill” by Harry Mark Gonzales, 26. As a native of Iloilo City where the island of Guimaras is a 20-minute boatride away, Gonzales felt the emotional inquiry of the oil spill almost like a personal violation. Indeed, the focus of Gonzales as a sculptor is upon social and environmental issues. To him, these carry “overwhelming sentiments.”
What Gonzales did with his material is a tour-de-force, a brilliant and poignant idea — fired terracotta clay mixed with oil. Noxious black, the very substance absorbed within the earthen red clay. When fired, the black oil stains seeped through like a parasitic organism.
(Click Harry’s art for the rest of the story.)