Elegy to the Spanish Colony

Exhibition dates: Tue 18 to Wed 5 October 2011
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‘Elegy to the Spanish Colony’ artist statement

“My suite of wall works exhibited under the title – Elegy to the Spanish colony cross-references Robert Motherwell’s epic cycle of paintings, ‘Elegy to the Spanish Republic’ with my second home in Philippines, Manila, a city careering, as a matter of daily existence between abrupt conclusion and miraculous salvation. I feel that such an existence is best approached as an abstraction, and here Motherwell offers deep tutelage. 

Any narrative might as well be in a foreign language. It would be lost, misplaced at least in the search for a picture. As Motherwell said of his own work as he began his elegies, ‘My pictures have layers of mistakes buried in them—an X-ray would disclose crimes—layers of consciousness, of willing. They are a succession of humiliations resulting from the realization that only in a state of quickened subjectivity—a freedom from conscious notions[…] do I find the unknown.’

Motherwell returned to the ‘unknown’ in his elegies about 200 times, I have returned to Manila 17 times, which proposes a question, will the unknown become known through familiarity, or will it remain intangible, an enigma that can be approached but not grasped?

It seems to me, as I hurtle along Manila’s MRT, crammed in to a tin box with faltering air con, gazing out at the consequence of 450 years of colonisation, it’s wars, revolutions and faith, the interminable decay stumbling under the weight of terminal congestion that the unknown is unknowable however close we get.” – Tony Twigg.

Artist Bio

Tony Twigg has produced over 40 solo exhibitions of wall-based objects and installations in Australia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore and the U.S.A., and has been included in group exhibitions across Asia and Europe. He received his Master of visual Arts from the City Art Institute Sydney in 1985.

Tony’s numerous exhibitions have been presented in a variety of  disciplines including, performance, film/video, installation, painting and sculpture, as well as curatorial practice. His forth coming exhibitions with his representative galleries are: Sydney, Damien Minton Gallery, October 2011 – Singapore, Taksu Gallery, April 2012 and Galleria Duimela, Manila, September 2012.

Tony Twigg is represented in private collections and public collections in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines including: the National Gallery of Australia, the Queensland Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Ateneo Art Gallery Manila and the BenCab Museum, in the Philippines.