past exhibition

JUNE 2019: Manila to PDX/Exploratory Drawings: Palmarin Merges | Blackfish Members Drawing Show


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. Her use of this ubiquitous office product, found in offices throughout the United States, provides the means of exploring her Filipino American heritage and finding connection to a place that she is separated from.

Manila to PDX will show in conjunction with the Blackfish Members’ Drawing Show—a collection of works drawn on paper, canvas, and more by the member artists of Blackfish Gallery.