Bato Bato sa Langit • Rocelie Delfin

Jul 13 to Aug 4, 2021 • Video Room

Rocelie Delfin’s drawing series of unusual rocks has been an ongoing endeavor for many years. This exhibition encompasses the progress of their evolution, beginning with a focal point on single rocks. Later her unique drawing technique is translated to the shadows of individual trees cast over rocks. Recently she depicts them as part of larger, more complex compositions that make up forests and bird habitats.

The rocks are based on a collection of smooth grey lined rocks from Taiwan. Delfin applies hundreds of miniscule lines to mimic the tiny markings on the rocks’ surfaces. Through the use of a thicker ink pen, the lines appear softer and more feathery, creating a visual tension that is both meditative and mesmerizing.

For the succeeding series, Delfin abandons the use of references and draws entirely from imagination and memory. Twelve small drawings are of fantastical trees whose shadows are cast over rocks. The roots, sometimes absent, are smaller than reality—her direct way of portraying that above ground, only the upper part of a tree’s roots are visible and in some cases are completely hidden underneath the soil. In the larger drawings, the rocks belong to scenes that include birds, plants and houses, each subject scaled with surreal perspective and proportion. The single largest drawing, titled “Buhay na Bato”, shows plants growing on rocks. The term “living rock” refers to rocks where plants have taken root from soil sediments caught in their rough surfaces, the rocks thus becoming a microcosmos of different organisms.

These are curious drawings, with sincerity and spontaneity ruling over other concerns. The forests recall ones we see in storybook myths and fables rather than the truly menacing jungles of our world. Yet Delfin captures their wildness, densely packed with obsessive detail. Beneath the enchantment, these drawings hold mysteries that leave us pondering time and again.

—Stephanie Frondoso

Artworks from the Show

Wishes

Wishes, Rocelie Delfin, 2021, ballpen on paper, 22¾×30¾ in

Mag ina

Mag ina, Rocelie Delfin, 2020, ballpen on paper, 18¾×24¾ in

Kabatohan

Kabatohan, Rocelie Delfin, 2020, ballpen on paper, 18¾×24¾ in

Pamilya

Pamilya, Rocelie Delfin, 2020, ballpen on paper, 18¾×24¾ in

Wishing Rock 1

Wishing Rock 1, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Wishing Rock 2

Wishing Rock 2, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Wishing Rock 3

Wishing Rock 3, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Wishing Rock 4

Wishing Rock 4, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Wishing Rock 5

Wishing Rock 5, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Wishing Rock 6

Wishing Rock 6, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Wishing Rock 7

Wishing Rock 7, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Pacific Coast Rock

Pacific Coast Rock, Rocelie Delfin, 2017, ballpen on paper, 16×20¾ in

Buhay na Bato

Buhay na Bato, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 14¾×11¼ in

Itom na Bato 1

Itom na Bato 1, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Itom na Bato 2

Itom na Bato 2, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 1

Puno sa Bato 1, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 2

Puno sa Bato 2, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 3

Puno sa Bato 3, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 4

Puno sa Bato 4, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 5

Puno sa Bato 5, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 6

Puno sa Bato 6, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 7

Puno sa Bato 7, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 8

Puno sa Bato 8, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 9

Puno sa Bato 9, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 10

Puno sa Bato 10, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 11

Puno sa Bato 11, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Puno sa Bato 12

Puno sa Bato 12, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Bato sa Ilog 1

Bato sa Ilog 1, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Bato sa Ilog 2

Bato sa Ilog 2, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Bato sa Ilog 3

Bato sa Ilog 3, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in

Bato sa Ilog 4

Bato sa Ilog 4, Rocelie Delfin, 2018, ballpen on paper, 8×8¾ in