But a conversation with master photographer Neal Oshima set her back on her initial path of re-interpreting her plastics-as-the-scourge-of-the-environment concept.
“(Neal Oshima) was talking to me about this possible collaboration we could have also during the Art Fair but in the public places,” d'Aboville says. “He was also talking about plastic pollution so I was like, ‘Oh I really have to go back to my initial concept.’ This gave me that confidence in choosing that theme again. So not only am I working on that for my personal space, but will also have two installations outside of the walls of the Art Fair.”
Art Fair Philippines 2019, scheduled from February 22 to 24 still at The Link car park in Makati City, is the seventh edition of the annual event. D’Aboville understands how it can be an excellent opportunity to reach more people and convey an important message about the world we live in, how we’re contributing to its demise, and what we can do to preserve it.
Everything is linked
D’Aboville’s story sounds like a fairy tale story, if there ever was one—set your mind and heart on something and, with a little luck and lots of talent, achieve all your dreams. But for every success story of an artist exhibiting at museums and being paid a handsome sum for commissioned work, there are countless others of those who are forced to abandon their passions to find work that pays enough to put food on the table. The image of the starving artist is all too real and one that d’Aboville herself acknowledges.
“Even myself, a couple of years ago I did a few things—I did home décor, accessories, textile, lighting, so it wasn’t just sculptures or arts. These led me to meet many different people that, in turn, led to many opportunities and opened up many possibilities. I think that’s what young creatives need to explore—to be open-minded and to be interested in different disciplines. At the end everything, is kind of linked together, and one idea will feed another idea. So that’s how you can bounce and evolve.”
Outside of art, d’Aboville lights up when talk turns towards her family. She is married to Miro Grgich, who 10 years ago dreamed up the Malasimbo Festival—a multi-day music and arts festival in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.
“At the time, we had no international music festivals yet,” she says. “These musicians need a platform. (My husband) imagined this festival in Puerto Galera in collaboration with my father who owns a beautiful piece of land there and that’s where we held Malasimbo for the last eight years.”
This year, the husband-and-wife team and the rest of the organizers are switching it up and changing venues for the first time since the festival started.
“We’re moving towards the beach, but not actually on the sand. Just a bit behind. We’re still in complete nature; it’s in a reserve, a really protected area. It’s a beautiful jungle and the backdrop is the actual Mount Malasimbo. We’re very excited.”
Creating the future
Together, d’Aboville and Grgich are the parents of little Leo, who just turned three years old and is already showing artistic inclinations. She says Leo got into drumming when he was two years old.
“We have footage of him at Malasimbo and he was so cute,” says the proud mom. “But now he’s into football.”