Elenita Cruz Dumlao is a home-schooled artist from Davao City. Trained and nurtured by artistic parents who were both art educators, she started to do art while still a toddler and grew up to be very engrossed in arts and culture. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, but taught Arts and Music at the Rizal Memorial Colleges. Aside from visual arts, she is also into dance, theatre and music. At present, she is the Artistic Director of a multi-awarded Davao- based cultural company.
Ms. E.C. Dumlao is multi-awarded, a recipient of many accolades for her exemplary contributions to the Arts, both in the local and international scene. She was the only Asian who qualified in the 10th International Women’s Exhibit held in Majdanpek, Serbia in 2013, winning 1st Place for New Media Arts Category.
She has successfully held several Solo Art Exhibitions, and participated as one of the featured artists in local, national and international group shows. She is one of the lead organizers of Baihinang, an active all-women artist group which is making an impressive track record in the Davao art scene.
Her recent solo stint was held at the Waterfront Davao Insular Hotel, Davao City, as a special feature of the hotel’s celebration of the Kadayawan Festival, in August 2019.
“As a visual artist, I am most comfortable in “isolation”. I need peace and quiet to focus on my ideas, and to express them creatively. I need to build my momentum to keep my story flowing. Oftentimes I forget about food, especially when I have a deadline, until my body reminds me about the many essential matters it needs to survive.”
“Inspiration moves me to squeeze the juices of creativity. Coffee is the “best friend” that keeps me awake. I also give myself ‘breaks’. I would stop working early mornings and go out to see the rising sun, listen to the birds chirp, fill my lungs with fresh air and indulge in the sensory experiences- a smorgasbord of scents, sights and touch – for free, from my natural environment. Once in a while, I break my physical isolation and meet my friends – to talk, and feel their warmth. Laugh, cry, or just indulge in good company and food trips.”
“But the quarantine shifts all these into something “surreal”. Yes, it may still be my usual isolation. It is quiet, but not necessarily peaceful. I worry a lot about the future. I still practice going out to commune with nature but I cannot fully appreciate what is there, while my mind is disturbed with images of people suffering and dying because of the covid-19 pandemic. Nowadays, I try to be just as creative, but anxiety has a bigger weight. Entangled thoughts keep me away from focus and from sleep.”
“I am feeling hungry so often now, and it worries me that my pantry is almost empty. My art is my bread and butter. Economically, the quarantine is also hitting hard on artists like me.”
“I want to meet my friends, to seek comfort, but I have to be satisfied with virtual connections. They are most valuable especially now, yet I am unreachable, and they, beyond my physical reach.”
“Still, there are some things I can do in spite of all these. I am an artist. We have social media. I will share my art to help at least lift up the mood. Better days will come, I believe and I pray.”
Photo credits: Elenita Cruz Dumlao
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