Restraint seems to be the last thing in Maria Jeona Zoleta’s vocabulary. Free from the dictates of tradition, be it in her interdisciplinary artistic practice or real life, she creates works that resonate to the subconscious of a woman born into the digital age, yet holds no fear to be seen. The glitter, buzzing neon colors, and rainbows merely envelop the message of childlike liberation in her pieces. It is a carefree noise that screams for her own sake and not for others.
The cover of Town&Country's February 2017 issue and its cover subject
Hers is an installation piece that extends her practice further through the inclusion of her first full-length film and performances. Diaristic in approach, we enter her alternate universe that unapologetically merges surreal metaphors with realistic storylines. There is no straightforward plot, as we are presented with unpredictable leaps and quick snippets in her narrative. It is a stream of consciousness, whose limit is only her imagination. Paintings, lights, and a random collection of things are also put on display, with her own brand music playing alongside it, resulting in an immersive psychedelic experience.
Vignettes from Jeona's Art Fair exhibit
Still apparent though is a sense of authority from Zoleta amidst the supposed clutter, as though challenging the very borders that separate awareness and spontaneity, reality and fantasy, innocence and perversion, digital and the traditional. It is as though we are pushed far enough to keep looking, but never over the edge to step out—as real control is in being able to pull the reins even in the sight of the seemingly uncontrollable.
“We were encouraged, motivated and mentored by our teachers to give the best of ourselves in everything that we did, be it academics, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities," says Sr. Christine Pinto.