They say a picture paints a thousand words, and this adage comes to life with the paintings of artist-turned-banker Martie Datu. A Banking and Finance graduate from the De La Salle University, Datu delved into the world of numbers shortly after she graduated in 2003, initially working with a multinational bank before deciding to join her father when he put up his own consultancy firm. Back then, she enjoyed doodling and did a bit of sketching but she never seriously thought about being an artist.
It was during her stint with a leading Swiss Bank in Singapore, however, that her passion for painting and the arts was rekindled, spending most of her free time painting and attending workshops. Pretty soon, she found herself getting more excited at the prospect of painting, her interest sustained as she explored galleries and art schools. She returned to the Philippines thereafter, having decided to follow what her heart dictated: She wanted to paint.
For someone who has had no formal art training, Datu’s works succeeded in catching the attention of art aficionados when a gallery owner gave her the opportunity to mount her first solo exhibit in 2014. Her work has since been seen in private collections in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and countries across Asia.
For her third exhibit that will run until July 3 at ArtistSpace in Ayala Museum in Makati, the artist draws from her personal experiences to bring viewers back to that place where one can recover all that may have been lost in a world that has become so disconnected owing to the unnecessary distractions that people encounter in their everyday lives.
Ironic, really, since advancements in information and communication technology have made it so easy for people to communicate regardless of geographical distance.
Yet Datu manages to elicit tender emotions from her paintings that depict such simple scenes as a little girl frolicking on the beach with her arms spread out in exuberance; or a boy out on a field playing with a toy plane. Such scenes depicted in her paintings capture those happy moments that no amount of words can accurately describe.
The artist believes that a happy childhood positively impacts one’s future, and this is vividly translated in the pieces that are showcased in her latest solo exhibit. It will not really be surprising if, looking at Datu’s works, exhibit goers will also find themselves reminiscing about happy moments during their childhood – strolling down the beach during family vacations, observing garden blooms and trees, and playing pretend with siblings.
Her favorite subjects are obviously children, and the faceless images somehow convey innocence, purity and the happiness brought by the freedom from having to worry about what tomorrow may bring. Childhood, after all, is a blissful chapter where children simply live in the moment.
“When There Are No Words” will run until July 3 at the ArtistSpace, ground level, Ayala Museum, Annex, Makati Ave. corner Dela Rosa St. Greenbelt Park, Makati City. The ArtistSpace is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Mondays to Sundays. Admission is free.
For more information on the exhibition, email
email@example.com or log on to www.martiedatu.com. For queries and concerns on ArtistSpace, email firstname.lastname@example.org.