Elmo's House
Artist Residency

Batan, Aklan
Philippines

 
Mural at Songcolan

Mural at Songcolan

Entry by Kuh Del Rosario
16 February 2019

 

Walking my dog Asahi around the plaza is a social event. The square is the epicentre for gathering after all. On any given afternoon, children are playing made-up games while parents sit on the steps waiting for their kids to run out of steam. Teens meet up before dinner while others walk around the block to get in some low-impact exercise. Everyone is a familiar face, so you say hi, and chat and catch up. Kids are curious; eager to talk and ask about Asahi, about me, a still somewhat new face in town.

 
 
 
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One day, inspired by one of the neighbourhood children asking me for candy, I gave out chocolate to all the kids playing. In return, the children gave me their undivided attention and so began the collaboration to make art. I want to think it's not just the candy that spurred the mural at Songcolan, but a real desire for some kids to draw or do something new.

Knowing the ruins of an old school at Songcolan was fair game for murals, I solicited drawings from the kids. The submitted work would be the basis for the mural design, and the children who took the initiative will join me in painting the mural.

The drawings started trickling in, and they were sweet and cheerful depictions of dream homes and scenes by the sea. Initially, there were almost 20 kids who wanted to be involved, but the drawings unveiled the ones with genuine interest. Taking elements from all the drawings received, I sketched out a plan for the mural.

 
 
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We set a date for a Sunday morning excursion. We were to meet at the plaza, and from there we would proceed to the old school. Four children showed up; Mingoy, Ahn Ahn, Bob and Mizhaira. Together with Nancy, the artists-in-residence Christine Cipriano and Michael Drebert, our motley crew with pails of paint and brushes set off in a hired tricycle to Songcolan.

 
 
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For a long time to come, our collective efforts, our time painting by the sea will be remembered through our mural at Songcolan.

 
 
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We made fast work laying the general elements of the mural, but it wasn't until the following Saturday that we completed the whole wall. We attracted onlookers while working, and a few even joined us. It was satisfying to see the drawings translated on the wall. But moreover, the painting developed into something much more beautiful than we could have imagined.

For a long time to come, our collective efforts, our time painting by the sea will be remembered through our mural at Songcolan.

 
 
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Thank you to everyone who submitted drawings and helped in painiting this mural.

Thank you to the Barangay of Songcolan for giving us permission to make our mark.

Musyon mga Unga! Sa Inyong Pangabuhi

Musyon mga Unga! Sa Inyong Pangabuhi

Mommy White in her own terms

Mommy White in her own terms