On the final Monday in the month of August, the people of the Philippines celebrate National Heroes day. This year, the day falls on August 26th, and we at Mamasons, have something amazing to celebrate on this day and for the rest of this month.
CELEBRATING NATIONAL HEROES AT MAMASONS
Mamasons is a Filipino ice cream parlour and bakery, all our desserts are inspired by the Philippines and its exotic culture.
As a cultural brand we feel that we have a social responsibility to share more stories about the Philippines and so to celebrate the Philippines national hero day we thought it would be great to collaborate with the young local Filipino artists here in the UK.
THE FILIPINA HEROES ART CAMPAIGN
So for this year’s National Heroes Day and the coming of Mamasons Chinatown 1st anniversary, with 3 British - Filipina creatives, we have curated a small art collection at our Chinatown branch. Being the first of many more art campaigns to come, artists, Sarah Delgado, Jemaima Mendoza and Charlene Delim, are the first to be specially invited to create artworks of their Filipina heroes for this project. As we believe that Filipinas have been, and are the vital backbones of the Philippines and deserve as much distinction, praise and respect.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL HEROES DAY
The Philippines has gone through many battles and rebellions throughout history, from the Spanish Conquest in 1521, the Philippine Revolution in 1896 and their involvement in WW2. Whether or not they have been successful, regardless if they were men or women, if they were fighting on the home front during warfare or fighting for their sole survival for tomorrow, for their efforts and sacrifices - there is a hero to someone. There are millions of Filipino people whose involvement in a physical or mental conflict have contributed to what we know the Philippines as today. So on the very last Monday of August, this day is especially dedicated to celebrating all heroes in the Philippines.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS AND THEIR WORK
Sarah was the first creative brought on board for this project, with a background in animation, she created a digital illustration titled ‘Whang-od’, as well a pan pastel and colouring pencil composition of a traditional-looking elder Filipina titled ‘Grace’. Sarah’s expertise is in digital portraiture work which she has perfected over the years but is no stranger to traditional art techniques of using pan pastels, colouring pencils and watercolours.
Sarah depicts Apo Whang-od, who is the oldest and only known tattooist from the Kalinga district in the Cordillera Administrative Region, tattooing someone from behind.
“Whang-od’s legacy and cultural imprint fascinated me so much I had to draw her! I admire her continuance of the hand-poked tattoo tradition and wanted to honour her in a drawing.” - Sarah on her Whang-od composition.
Grace demonstrates a lola (Filipina grandmother), whom Sarah describes that
"There are beauty and grace that comes with age, and I wanted to show the beauty of the elder Filipina. Her clothing and hairstyle are reminiscent of the Maria-Clara style with sampaguita flowers in the background - to highlight the culture and beauty of the Philippines.”
Charlene Delim is another young creative, who for this campaign - solely painted her mother. Her pieces are titled ‘1980’ and ‘1989’ respectively and are both completed in watercolours. Charlene stated that before this project, she didn’t technically have a hero but soon realised her mum is someone she always inspires to be like.
Charlene’s artworks for this campaign are in parts. 1980 is the first part of Charlene’s interpretation of this brief. This image is from a photograph of her mum in the year 1980, as a new-ish Filipina to London. In comparison to her mum, Charlene loves this image as it shows her mum's early beginnings.
1989 is the second part of Charlene’s compositions from another photograph of her mum but in 1989. According to Charlene,
“it was interesting to see how much my mum had changed in 9 years from 1980 to 1989. Her wearing pearls, satin dresses and makeup show how far she had come since arriving in London. She finally earned enough to go back home, came back, worked and began living her best life whilst still supporting the family.”
Jemaima in comparison to Sarah and Charlene does not have a media or creative background. She, on the other hand, graduated with a Law degree in 2018 but uses art and painting as a therapeutic hobby. Jemaima’s pieces for this exhibition are of her grandmother and her younger sister, Alex.
Jemaima created 2 compositions for this project, both titled ‘Ugat’ meaning roots. The first is of her grandmother whom she also calls ina - meaning mother in Tagalog, which shows their close bond. Whilst the second part of ‘Ugat’ is of her little sister, Alex.
When curating the pieces up on the wall, Jemaima requested that her grandmother always be placed to the left of her sister as a way to say that traditions are passed down from older generations to the younger. The younger generation is symbolised by Jemaima through her younger sister in the painting, and describes this generation as needing to water the roots that keep the cultures and traditions going.
For both these pieces, Jemaima painted them in black and white acrylic paints on bamboo, creating pieces that are timeless. Regarding her painting style, Jemaima describes herself as being a perfectionist and so her technique of painting in realism, allows her to create true and perfect visualisations of her grandmother and sister.
Our art campaign is now up at our Mamasons Chinatown branch, so come down and see these wonderful pieces by the young and talented members in our community! As well as to celebrate all the heroes in the Philippines and around the world for their hard work and sacrifices that inspire us all.
Follow our instagram @mamasonsdirtyicecream for updates on our campaign, as we’ll be releasing more content about the artists individually and their work! But make sure to personally see these beautiful pieces in store!