Quietude comes to us in ways we often overlook. It can come by simply being in the presence of trees or observing the resilience of weeds. These are some of the vignettes captured in Gabi Nazareno’s second solo show titled Moments of Quietude. Moments of Quietude continues to expound on her work that delves into a locational disconnect from one’s home. She previously tackled the subject from the perspective of a loved one living with Alzheimer's. This time, Nazareno approaches the idea of blurring spaces by taking from her own experience of having to retreat to her hometown in Bohol as a precaution to the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
Being based in the city has conditioned most to feel that the absence of noise or failing to keep busy is errant. Any other way of life that does not keep up with the demands of a comfortable life that meets city standards are often forgone. Quietness, therefore, is a luxury not afforded to all, however, when the world slowed down during the pandemic its sudden arrival left many with the sentiment of being displaced. Nazareno’s decision to return to her hometown comes at the price of leaving behind a life and career she built for herself over several years in a fast-paced city like Manila. The change of pace made living in a relaxed environment feel almost like being in solitary confinement. “When the mind is noisy with questions, one needs to ground oneself," the artist opines. Moments of Quietude surmises the artist’s concept of home being tied to a feeling of return to a calm stillness. She takes inspiration from her immersion in her hometown where she would take hikes, go for a swim, or observe the cycle of metamorphosis.
Nazareno took notice of a carefree existence vicariously lived by the common weed. She notes how it endures without pressure to be anything it is not. She expounds on this appreciation for weeds in the series “Swaying Perennials.” “Stationary Giants” is a string of paintings that illustrate trees that stand as silent witnesses to the lives of beings that live off the oxygen they provide. These are augmented by the video "Prelude to First Flight" which is a film shot from the artist's point of view following the emergence of a common lime swallowtail butterfly from its chrysalis.
The smaller works on paper "Quiet Worlds" offer viewers a vantage point into the spaces where quietude can be found. Finally, “Earthbound Stars” depicts scenes of fireflies dancingꟷ a sight that can be best appreciated in silence. According to Nazareno "sitting in silence and letting life flow, has given me more answers and redirected my life in better ways." In hindsight, the artist realizes that time spent in quietude is a gift from the universe. Text by Marz Aglipay