Palmarin Merges’s new works on Manila folder, Manila to PDX / Exploratory Drawings employs Ilocano, Tagalog and English words to create richly patterned surfaces using colored pencil, felt markers, graphite, gouache and acrylic paints.

Manila to PDX / Exploratory Drawings is one outcome of her Fort Man Toe project funded by the McGeady Grant she received from PNCA in 2018 which focuses primarily on using text as a strategy to create organic pattern-like images. These textual poetic forms owe their genesis to her love of Concrete Poetry, Filipino food and the Manila folder.

The Manila folder is made from a species of banana that is originally from the Philippines, known as abaca or more commonly as Manila hemp—hence the name and its appropriateness in Manila to PDX / Exploratory Drawings.