Among the young, up-and-coming visual artists today, UP Fine Arts graduate Ina Jardiolin stands out among her peers with her powerful artistic voice and her use of a most unusual medium: leather.

ina-1.jpgIna comes from a family who works in the local footwear industry. She chose this rather difficult medium to work – giving her work so much texture and that added wow factor. She utilizes this medium with such dexterity and incorporates intricate details. Her meticulous work is a result of careful experimentation, a strong vision, and an innovative perspective. 

ina-2.jpg“Stretch(ed) Mark(ed)” is Ina’s second solo show. She manipulated discarded leather scraps and used them as her canvases. In this exhibition she explored self-identity and the intangible, fleshing out the beauty in androgyny, while touching on the realities of life.

Her art is a means of expression – a way for her to send messages and communicate.

ina-3.jpgIna describes herself as introspective, and at times misunderstood so through her work she aims to reach out to the world. As an artist she feels like she is able to make others like her understand that they are not alone and that they need not feel confused. Ina’s goal is to convey a message of empowerment and of hope.

In “Stretch(ed) Mark(ed),” this talented artist investigates the limits that gender roles may force upon us, how these obstructive assignments often mark each of us permanently.  The intricately cobbled leather scraps signify how these gender norms sometimes leave individuals grasping at pieces of their genuine identity to gain a sense of individuality and acceptance. 

ina-4.jpg“My art is my own reaction to identity and the cultural expectations regarding gender,” Ina explains. “I want the world to be more open to different ideas that veer away from usual norms.”

Apart from mounted paintings using leather scraps, Ina will once again display art pieces using wooden shoe lasts (referred to as ‘hulma’ by local shoemakers) in her upcoming exhibit. She is the first artist to make use of this vintage shoe-making implement as a ‘canvas’.

ina-5.jpgHer use of both leather and shoe parts pays homage to her family’s background as Marikina shoemakers. Transforming these ordinary things into art is a gesture that pays respects to her ancestors whose labors nurtured the family and helped build the local shoe industry. 

ina-6.jpgShe loves to use non-conventional mediums and mixed media. Ina does this stepping to convey a particular message: “Everything—and everyone—should not be restricted by a set of roles made by those who are comfortable staying within the bounds of what is “normal” and acceptable”.

ina-7.jpgHer art, which includes printmaking, ceramics and illustration, is one that constantly evolves and is in constant flux, much like the fluidity of gender.

inta-8.jpgUltimately, Ina Jardiolin sees her art as giving a voice to others who cannot otherwise express themselves, taking up their cudgels and, in the process, gaining a deeper understanding of herself.

Stretch(ed) Mark(ed), runs from September 10 to 25, 2017 at Kaida Contemporary, #45 Scout Madrinan, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Tags: Art, Artist, Painting, Leather, Ina Jardiolin