Abi Dionisio’s Control Your Sheet seeks to define the smallness of man against the vastness of the universe. Tropes on life and the search for balance are overwhelming and often overstated, yet its reality persists as it grounds the every day of individuals.
Using the imagery of the sea as metaphor, each work conveys a semblance of our narratives where every man, woman and child sails through its endlessness. Alongside this comes the choice of cruising in solitude or in unison among people.
Dionisio visualizes this resemblance of life and the sea through a fusing of realistic and surrealist figures. Embroideries of sailboats and seascapes merge seamlessly against horizons of faces to reflect these parallelisms of navigating waters with one’s humanity. Complementing these are paintings of miniature sailboats that are laid unassumingly on rumpled cloth, as though mimicking the undulations of the sea.
Similar to a boat that requires constant steering in order to acquire stability, one’s life necessitates both acts of navigation. On one end, there is the ballast or in this case a solid sense of self, whose heaviness grounds the boat; and on another is the sail whose lightness and openness to the possibilities of the winds can carry oneself to unexpected routes and interactions.
This dual approach in this voyage allows the prospect of conquering the waves of emptiness from isolation and distractions from external factors. It is proposed that ideals of peace and harmony may be achieved in the constant and careful weighing of self and others. (I.F.)
(photos by Mark Christian Sy)