“Whatever I think of, I’ll make it a point to bring it out as a work of art“
For sculptor Anita del Rosario, all that glitters isn’t just gold as her career in jewelry design eventually led to an artist’s future.
Her works in sculpture culminate in Hulma, a fundraising exhibit that showcases her artistry, along with fellow Filipino sculptors Jef Albea and Enon de Belen.
The ongoing exhibit of sculptural pieces, which was launched last June 11, could be viewed online through Art House until June 30, 2022, and will raise funds for the ABS-CBN Foundation and victims of Typhoon Odette.
In Hulma, del Rosario’s sculptures play on the themes of love and compassion. The 14 pieces, in mixed media such as metal, copper, brass, resin, and mother-of-pearl come to life in dynamic forms that symbolize mother-and-child affection, a nude sculpture that represents self-love and confidence, entwined lovers, and Christ on the Cross, one of her favorite motifs.
“My works here are all about the different types of love,” del Rosario explains. “There is parental love, romantic love, and spiritual love. Love is enough for one to live! Number one is spiritual love, because whatever happens, the One Above is who will help us survive.”
The artist favors a twisting and folding technique, which she learned during her jewelry-designing days. “Twisting and folding are always found in my works,” del Rosario says. “In using these two techniques, you can make a hard material appear soft. That’s what I do when I when I design my jewelry.”
The undulating forms of her dynamic sculptures are also echoed in her jewelry. One of her necklace designs, for example, is composed of a thin gold wire that explodes into a twisted loop of diamonds. An amber amulet is wrapped in a golden crown of thorns to resemble the face of Christ. The soft-spoken artist says that in her craft, she always aims to create wearable art.
After graduating at the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Fine Arts-Advertising, del Rosario exercised her artist’s chops as a komiks illustrator in the 1970s, when the pop culture medium was at its height.
In spite of the long hours—the artist recalls that the publisher only gave her a script, and she had to do the storyboarding, penciling, inking and coloring by herself—the job honed her storytelling skills and attention to detail.
Soon after, a chance encounter with a Fine Arts friend led her to work with the country’s top jewelers before venturing out on her own as a high-demand jewelry designer for 50 years. Her mastery of material and a fondness for experimentation are also applied to her sculptures.
With Hulma, a lineup of upcoming exhibits, her recent citation as one of the Distinguished Thomasians by the UST Alumni Association at ArtSpace at the Ayala Museum, as well as being honored as one of CCP’s Top 100 Women Artists, the septuagenarian admits she has no plans of slowing down.
“Whatever I think of, I’ll make it a point to bring it out as a work of art,” del Rosario says.
Banner: “The Way We Are,” by Anita del Rosario