French-Filipino artist Olivia d’Aboville is as fluid as her art. The textile designer and sculptor first made waves by using 80,000 cocktail stirrers and transforming them into a dazzling “Coral Garden” for the Marina Bay Festival in Singapore in 2012. Drawing inspiration from the sea which she practically grew up next to, she showcased the beauty of Philippine coral reefs and promoted its conservation at the same time.
Olivia’s love for beautiful things started at a young age. Her mom collected all sorts of textiles and baskets so she grew up with a lot of beautiful handmade things from the Philippines in their home.
“Subconsciously, it really inspired me. And when I moved to Paris to study, I realized I really wanted to work with my hands. It’s really thanks to all these items that my mom collected and showed us when we were kids.” Olivia shared.
Presently, she is working with contemporary Philippine textiles produced by local weaving communities with a hope to sustain a Philippine textile industry.
“I wanted to work with Filipino fibers. We’re very fortunate to have a large variety of natural fibers such as piña, silk, and abaca. So I wanted to explore that, but still tweaking them and creating my own, giving them volume and life.”
But the reserved beauty doesn’t just create art for art’s sake. She wants her art to convey a message of sustainability.
“I try to [make everything sustainable], not just in my art; I try to live by it as well. It’s not easy because we live in a consumerist society but I think it’s important to be conscious of it. And the easier way to share this message is through my work, my art.”
Creative, stunning, and full of curiosity and life, Olivia is making her mark not just in the arts but also in cultural preservation.
“I found my medium. I think I’m one of the few artists who use textiles as a medium and in that sense, it lets me be as creative as I want. And I love working with Philippine weavers. Textile is definitely my medium of choice.”
With a love for culture that’s made in the Philippines, Olivia is showing off our culture and advocating sustainability one art show at a time.
Watch out for the rest of these stories and join Bayo as we celebrate 25 years of culture, fashion and all things “Made in the Philippines.”
For more information visit: http://www.oliviadaboville.com/