Anna de Leon likes to use song lyrics in naming her artworks and her exhibitions. So when she moved to her new space, in a condo unit on the seventh floor, “it seems perfect that I name my exhibition with that song,” said de Leon as she surveyed the panoramic view which spans the hills of Antipolo, the Laguna de Bai, leading to the skyline of BGC and Makati, and the distant Manila Bay. “I placed those hills in this tryptich painting, which I also named, Heaven on the Seventh Floor. It is my way of expressing my gratitude to God for giving me all this. When I wake up, I see the sunrise from my bedroom balcony. In the early evening, I pause from my painting to see the sunset from my studio. I am so grateful.”
To say that Heaven on the Seventh Floor marks a milestone for de Leon is apt. It marks her birthday, as well as her moving in to her permanent perch above the city. Like her recent solo exhibitions, de Leon uses birds and flowers as her visual idioms. Metal cubes, leather straps, and other material associated with her other practice, interior design, are also integrated to augment the flat picture plane, and make it somewhat like a flat sculpture, like a bas relief. All the seven pieces which comprise the exhibition take inspiration from the artist’s own experience. Nesting, which is a universal theme in itself as it covers love, and the tension between settling in and being caged, seems to be a common theme in all, as most works show pairs of birds in various stages of building a family and a home. The romantic tension is palpable, as the euphemistic notions of birds and flowers, are overlaid on the quaint and innocent compositions.
Heaven on the Seventh Floor is Anna de Leon’s 8th solo exhibition. It opens on her birthday, December 10, at Galerie Francesca in Festival Mall located at Unit 3319 2nd Level Festival Mall Expansion Wing Civic Drive Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang Muntinlupa City 1770. It runs until December 20. For inquiries, kindly call (+632) 659-2667.