A substantial part of Agnes Arellano's body of work revolves around the realm of sex and spirituality. The artist explored these themes with relentless vigor by reading books and other literature, as well as through her travels. With her works, mostly voluptuous sculptures of the female form and its parts, Arellano chips away at imposed notions and express an expansive view that pulls from mythologies, religion and her own imagination.
The artist’s hybrid mythical female icons will descend at the Art Fair Philippines 2017, each holding attributes that signify her power. Flying Dakini, a sculpture from past exhibitions, will make an appearance in its new reincarnation—crowned with a pair of tamaraw horns (from the artist’s previous campaign to save the endangered beasts), with multiple breasts taken from the Bogobo underworld goddess, Mebuyan. It will be accompanied by other compelling sculptures such as Kali, the Hindu goddess of time, death and destruction, as well as Mary Magdalene, which the artist revealed, “will bear Jesus Christ’s crucifixion wounds, as well as his fruit.”
The rubber molds for the works come from a live cast of the artist’s body done many years ago. From this original shape, the Arellano modified some parts, adding and subtracting gestures to create new forms. “This series is part of my life work that deals with the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Sexuality. I continue to use my body to portray the female with all her glorious undulating mounds and valleys.”
Arellano’s works reference various teachings and ancient tales. But she liberates her sculptures from the constraints of intellectual concepts and traditional notions. In their cross-pollinated forms, the artist’s sculptures convey a feminine ideal, unshackled by definitions.