Arts picks: Exhibitions by three women artists spotlight the environment, the female gaze and mental health

Artist Umibaizurah Mahir's artwork titled Afterwork #5 is a mixed media collage that makes references to over consumption in society. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ART SEASONS

Clean The Unseen

By creating art inspired by urban waste, Malaysian artist Umibaizurah Mahir addresses the over-consumption of natural resources in many societies today.

In her solo exhibition at the Art Seasons gallery, Clean The Unseen, mixed-media collages appear to have contemporary culture references cut out from old magazines. Called Afterwork, the series is described in a statement as “delving into humans’ over-consumption and excess materialism”.

In Still Life, another series of artworks, what seems to be precious finds from an archaeological dig are, in fact, artful assemblages of urban detritus. Perhaps they will be priceless someday, if they survive the apocalypse that the artist hints will come when all natural resources are depleted.

Where: Art Seasons, 03-02 Cideco Industrial Complex, 50 Genting Lane
MRT: Potong Pasir
When: Till Dec 3, Tuesdays to Fridays, 11am to 7pm; Saturdays, 11.30am to 5.30pm; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Admission: Free

From These Ruins, We Rise And Fall

Artist Marla Bendini’s work What Is Painting But The Act Of Embracing By Means Of Art The Surface Of The Pool, oil and oil pastel on linen. PHOTO: COURTESY OF CUTURI GALLERY

A visual journal is one way to describe the works of Singaporean cross-disciplinary artist and trans woman Marla Bendini. In her solo exhibition at Cuturi Gallery called From These Ruins, We Rise And Fall, she casts her gaze on matters such as friendship, female archetypes and spirituality to create layered documentations of her experience.

In the installation piece The Start Is The End And The End Starts Again (2022), she collaborates with writer and performance artist ila in a work that includes free-form text as well as torched and recovered parts of the guzheng, a Chinese musical instrument.

In another work, What Is Painting But The Act Of Embracing By Means Of Art The Surface Of The Pool (2022), Bendini references the desolation expressed in Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh’s Wheatfield With Crows (1890), by depicting a figure floating in a pool apparently calling for help on a mobile phone.

Where: Cuturi Gallery, 61 Aliwal Street
MRT: Nicoll Highway/Lavender/Bugis
When: Saturday to Nov 27, Tuesdays to Saturdays, noon to 7pm; Sundays, noon to 6pm; Mondays, by appointment only
Admission: Free

The Tales Of The Metamorphosis Of The Unnamed

Artist Geraldine Lim’s video still of her stop-motion animation artwork called The Cowrie, The Moon, The Flower. PHOTO: COURTESY OF YEO WORKSHOP

Artist Geraldine Lim is a fan of the 16th-century Ripley Scroll, an alchemical manuscript which explains how to create the fabled Philosopher’s Stone.

In a statement, she says: “I was first inspired by the Ripley Scroll, intrigued by the iconography and symbols used. I felt certain objects in my drawings also symbolise secret feelings and thoughts that I have but that I fail to be able to convey fully in words, so they’re like a parallel universe to my existence.”

In her solo exhibition at Yeo Workshop called The Tales Of The Metamorphosis Of The Unnamed, this parallel universe is inhabited by non-human and imagined life forms that have both childlike innocence and a peculiar sense of foreboding.

Lim works primarily with video and soft sculpture, as well as drawing and painting. While narrative-driven, her works form a discontinuous chain of enigmatic tales that perhaps also redefine the meaning of happy endings.

Where: Yeo Workshop, 01-25 Gillman Barracks, 47 Malan Road
MRT: Labrador Park
When: Till Dec 11, Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 7pm; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Admission: Free

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