Over the years, Cruz has developed an oeuvre inspired by her family's old clothes made and mended by her grandmother for her mother and aunties back in the mid-20th century. The oeuvre began with exploring family stories and memories, which at the same time reflects the social changes of the Philippines, and gradually expanded into various aspects such as the recollection and weaving of feelings, imprints of time, as well as the rich contents and stories of the dresses in their own rights. In the latest solo exhibition, "Material Maternal", Cruz continues her close-up depiction of the old dresses, but further transforms the dresses into metaphors of the maternal body: rich, beautiful, soft and full of traces of time, bearing the maternal energy that never ceases.
Through Cruz's delicate composition and depiction, the dresses undulate on the canvases, with light and shadow dancing over the colors and patterns. The focus shifts resembling that of photography, and deep spaces are created amongst the weaves of textile. The texture of the canvas itself are carefully invited to join the paints and fused into a tactile impression full of emotion, tenderness and power. The carefully rendered crevices, mends and torn parts tell the regretless wear and tear that have come along with the birth to and raise of new lives. Two recent interior paintings are also shown in this exhibition, revealing the old house of Cruz's grand-mother, where the old dressed have been kept with old times and memories. With the first cast of a little dress once worn by Cruz's mother, the exhibition completes the recount of the maternity, of the love passing down from generation to generation.
Press release courtesy Mind Set Art Center.