Filipina artist’s menstrual blood sculptures to be shown in London

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menstrual blood
One of the sculptures in the Regla (menstrual blood) series, and the artist at work

A Filipina artist who uses her own menstrual blood in her work is preparing for an exhibition at a London gallery.

Rhine Bernardino has named her latest collection of sculptures ‘Regla’ — which is the Filipino word for menstrual blood.

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The 12 works — one for each menstrual cycle of year — also make use of glass and water, and are described by the gallery as “provocative and aesthetically beautiful”.

The blurb on the Fiumano Clase gallery’s website continues: “Bernadino’s work is a comment on human perception and her belief in the potential of art to encourage  social change. She describes her piece as ‘a makeshift laboratory wherein collections of menstrual blood are not associated with disgust but regarded as objects of inspection and conversation’.”

According to her biography, Bernadino graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Audio Visual Communication and went on to become the first and only Filipino to win a Master of Arts in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. She was also awarded the prestigious Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholarship.

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The exhibition, called ‘Discoveries’, features work by three other artists who are also displaying “provocative” works, despite not using any of their bodily fluids.

Iranian Shadi Rezaei is presenting a video installation entitled ‘When the Curtain Falls’. Her work is described as “a series of mutable and spontaneous gestures that negotiate the relationship between stability and uncertainty”.

Tom Lellouche specialises in “interactive sculptures in space, meticulously crafted with organic matter”. According to the gallery, he is “on a mission to create an alchemical and all-encompassing experience with his intricate, soul-gripping creations”.

Last but not least, is abstract painter Alex Urie, who says that his works “occupy an awkward territory between painting-as-object, and remembered, liminal spaces”.

The exhibition runs from January 30 to March 16 at the gallery on Wren Street.

Those with more conservative taste in art still have time to catch an exhibition of works by the Asuncion brothers, who founded a notable clan of Filipino artists. Their work is on display at the Ayala museum in Makati until Sunday, January 14.

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