Nectar Soliman’s solo exhibit in Surry Hills this week (Nov 10-16) is as much a showcase of mixed media art as it is a beautiful retelling of a love story.
Madrid is a long way away from Sydney. But for Sydney-based artist Nectar Soliman, the capital of Spain is only a painting away, immortalised in her artwork titled ‘The Spaniard’.
It was in Madrid, while Nectar was teaching English, that she met the man whom she called in another painting ‘The One’. They broke up due to the distance, with Nectar eventually coming back to Sydney. That episode and a host of other turning points in her life inspired her first solo exhibit titled ‘All Outta LOVE’.
What would most likely resonate with other Filipino-Australians is another painting in the series titled ‘The Conflicted’, which shows a naked woman with one arm across her chest and another behind her head.
“It’s a personal painting for me because it represents my journey in the last five years … my identity crisis, how I should behave based on my culture and that feeling of being judged.”
She explained that as a woman, and an Australian with Filipino heritage, she felt like she was being measured on a variety of fronts, from her cultural identity to expectations around when she should get married, have babies or be in a relationship.
She comes full circle with the paintings titled ‘Shameless’ and ‘Guiltless’. The former shows she’s accepted that the relationship she had in Spain wasn't meant to be while the latter shows her newfound confidence and self-realisation.
Also on display is her 18-frame series on paper titled ‘The Landscape of Love’. A mixed media artist, Nectar used bitumen, glue, acrylic, spray cans, pumice, calcite and enamel to share her personal journey in the past six years.
The 18 abstract frames depicted the "18 wrongs" in her life, all of which happened for the right reasons, she said. Each painting took several days to do, as she painstakingly added one layer over another.
The result is an exhibit that shows Nectar's mastery in mixed media, reflecting deeply personal aspects of her life and her influences: surrealist painter Rene Magritte and self-portrait legend Frida Kahlo.
More than that, 'All Outta LOVE' contributes to the ongoing narrative about women and how to find love in modern society.
The answer, to borrow a line from a movie that Nectar likes, "Love lifts us up where we belong."
All Outta LOVE by Nectar Soliman
November 10 - November 16
374 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph. 0420 592 247
Original works, price range: $150-$1,200