Celestial Data for Daydreaming

Chati Coronel
Silverlens, Manila

About

    In the Beginning | A Fixed Point

    It’s an age-old human impulse to look up at the sky and search for our place in the cosmos. In Celestial Data for Daydreaming, Chati Coronel applies her passion for the timeless study of the stars to a vigorous rumination on modern existence. Each piece in this series pertains to one of the seven planets of classical Greek astrology, the heavenly bodies which represented the gods and whose patterns of movement were believed to influence human affairs. As Coronel puts it, she is “bridging the gap between the ancient myths and affirmation of human capacity to create a future.”

    In Saturn, named for the god of social order, embracing figures reflect the interdependent duality needed for balance and cosmic justice. While Venus – with her earthy corpulence and ethereal fragility – emanates the sacred integrity of universal love.

    Apollo, the most powerful of all deities, is depicted as the Sun, the centre of the cosmos and the source of life. This was the only planned piece in the series, created to coincide with Christmas. The Season of Light. Apollo is Coronel’s profound response to living during a pandemic – as she puts it, while in darkness dwelling, create the sun.

    Ultimately, the sacred luminaries depicted offer a treatise on time, as they chart the inexorable movement of light across the heavens.

    Playlist | Going with the Flow

    For thirty years, Coronel has endeavoured to capture the power of nature’s transience on canvas. In her singular style – which she refers to as “figurative spatialism” – she articulates a cohesive multiplicity of realities underpinned by an allegiance to the universal.

    Known for layering her canvas, Coronel instinctively begins each piece by setting the atmosphere – she lays down a base colour or image which becomes the foundation for the anticipated work. Next, she adds any texts or ideas that may be playing in her mind. Then, she paints over that with figures or silhouettes, repeating the process five or six times until there is a rich, textured tapestry of concepts. Each stroke is like a musical note in a symphony, building on the others to be taken as a whole. And yet, each buried layer is also a testament to impermanence. Her canvases make sense at the end of their journeys. Like life.

    Coronel believes that the universe is a song that resonates within, and throughout her creative process, she listens to music. Trained as an architect, Coronel works around a theme but trusts that the process of creation will lead her where it must. That thoughtful fluidity is the essence of her art. Her unique methodology can be likened to an exuberant dance with universal forces.

    Re-moved | Returning to the Essential

    Over a year ago, Coronel migrated to Canada with her family. Like the artist herself, the decision was a marriage of heart and mind – part structured consideration, and part impulse. The move shifted her colour palette which now reflects the softer light and varied textures of her new home. A stark contrast to Manila’s intense equatorial heat.

    The relocation – and resulting displacement – also reinforced her quest to understand the universe and find answers to the questions that drive her work. Why are things as they are? How can they be improved? What is one’s place in this world?

    New Cycle | Always an Outsider

    Subverting the stereotype of the tortured artist, Coronel can only paint when she is happy. And she admits to fortuitously never suffering from artist’s block. Naturally introspective, being required to stay indoors during the pandemic actually encouraged her to look outward. To contemplate that which unified individuals despite enforced isolation. Again, a thoughtful return to the essential forces. As she pondered, the sun rose. The night fell. The clock ticked. The Earth revolved, and no asteroids crashed into its orbit. Life went on. It was mundane, but more importantly – Coronel said – "miraculous and magical".

    “It made me feel at once big and small,” the artist expounded. “You are connected to something much, much larger. For me, that is hopeful.”

    After | Hope

    This is what Chati Coronel aims to remind the world as it comes out of lockdown: that there is a rhythm, a balance to the everyday. A sense in chaos, a peace in noise, though initially obscured. That despite the darkness, the essence of life remains unchanged – and the greatest force of all still shines above and lies within.

    Words by Marga Ortigas

    After receiving her degree in Architecture from The University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines in 1991, Chati Coronel deviated from that path and built in its stead a painting practice that has now spanned 3 decades. Coronel has found her artistic voice in a process she calls, Figurative Spatialism in which she paints layers of abstract movement and contains them in a color space that forms the silhouette of a human figure. 

    Influenced by the principles of Philosopher, Rudolf Steiner and Architect, Louis Khan, Coronel explores a subject by understanding its beginning and then engages it in a futuristic form of myth making through her art. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and art fairs in Los Angeles, Manila, Florence, Singapore and most recently, Art Basel Hong Kong. Chati Coronel is based in Toronto and is represented by Silverlens Galleries.

    Marga Ortigas is a writer and broadcast journalist with a career spanning nearly 30 years over 5 continents. For CNN International, she covered the war in Iraq and worked across Europe from a base in London. In 2006, she returned to Manila and the Asia Pacific, reporting from throughout the region as senior correspondent for Al Jazeera.

    A British Council Chevening Scholar, Marga earned a Master of Arts degree in literature and criticism from the University of Greenwich. 

    Her first novel is being published at the end of 2021, and she is the editor of “I, Migrant”, a website that showcases diasporic writing, championing the belief that beneath the trappings of people’s differences lies a universal humanity. 

    From ancient Egyptian mysteries right through to today’s space expeditions, my deep dive into studying the Cosmos began with a desperate investigation into the apparent connection between my daughter’s seizures and the phases of the moon. Several years later, my exploration has bloomed into a profound search for human purpose and healing. 

    Using the power of art to connect thousands of years of human evolution through the propagation of myths, I sought to create my own mythical representation of cosmic forces through 7 paintings representing the “Classical Planets” of Ancient Astronomy. Taking cues from Greek mythology which portrays the qualitative forces of the planets as gods and goddesses, my intention has been to infuse life into abstract astronomical data through new form embodiments representing these cosmic forces.

    Celestial Data for Daydreaming aims to bring home the physicality of the cosmic forces by reminding us that we have the physical experience of sunrises, sunsets, seasons, tides, and time because of the earth’s relationship with the Sun, the Moon and the cosmos. It reminds us that each one of us is an active physical participant in an alive, harmonised dance of forces.

In the Beginning | A Fixed Point

It’s an age-old human impulse to look up at the sky and search for our place in the cosmos. In Celestial Data for Daydreaming, Chati Coronel applies her passion for the timeless study of the stars to a vigorous rumination on modern existence. Each piece in this series pertains to one of the seven planets of classical Greek astrology, the heavenly bodies which represented the gods and whose patterns of movement were believed to influence human affairs. As Coronel puts it, she is “bridging the gap between the ancient myths and affirmation of human capacity to create a future.”

In Saturn, named for the god of social order, embracing figures reflect the interdependent duality needed for balance and cosmic justice. While Venus – with her earthy corpulence and ethereal fragility – emanates the sacred integrity of universal love.

Apollo, the most powerful of all deities, is depicted as the Sun, the centre of the cosmos and the source of life. This was the only planned piece in the series, created to coincide with Christmas. The Season of Light. Apollo is Coronel’s profound response to living during a pandemic – as she puts it, while in darkness dwelling, create the sun.

Ultimately, the sacred luminaries depicted offer a treatise on time, as they chart the inexorable movement of light across the heavens.

Playlist | Going with the Flow

For thirty years, Coronel has endeavoured to capture the power of nature’s transience on canvas. In her singular style – which she refers to as “figurative spatialism” – she articulates a cohesive multiplicity of realities underpinned by an allegiance to the universal.

Known for layering her canvas, Coronel instinctively begins each piece by setting the atmosphere – she lays down a base colour or image which becomes the foundation for the anticipated work. Next, she adds any texts or ideas that may be playing in her mind. Then, she paints over that with figures or silhouettes, repeating the process five or six times until there is a rich, textured tapestry of concepts. Each stroke is like a musical note in a symphony, building on the others to be taken as a whole. And yet, each buried layer is also a testament to impermanence. Her canvases make sense at the end of their journeys. Like life.

Coronel believes that the universe is a song that resonates within, and throughout her creative process, she listens to music. Trained as an architect, Coronel works around a theme but trusts that the process of creation will lead her where it must. That thoughtful fluidity is the essence of her art. Her unique methodology can be likened to an exuberant dance with universal forces.

Re-moved | Returning to the Essential

Over a year ago, Coronel migrated to Canada with her family. Like the artist herself, the decision was a marriage of heart and mind – part structured consideration, and part impulse. The move shifted her colour palette which now reflects the softer light and varied textures of her new home. A stark contrast to Manila’s intense equatorial heat.

The relocation – and resulting displacement – also reinforced her quest to understand the universe and find answers to the questions that drive her work. Why are things as they are? How can they be improved? What is one’s place in this world?

New Cycle | Always an Outsider

Subverting the stereotype of the tortured artist, Coronel can only paint when she is happy. And she admits to fortuitously never suffering from artist’s block. Naturally introspective, being required to stay indoors during the pandemic actually encouraged her to look outward. To contemplate that which unified individuals despite enforced isolation. Again, a thoughtful return to the essential forces. As she pondered, the sun rose. The night fell. The clock ticked. The Earth revolved, and no asteroids crashed into its orbit. Life went on. It was mundane, but more importantly – Coronel said – "miraculous and magical".

“It made me feel at once big and small,” the artist expounded. “You are connected to something much, much larger. For me, that is hopeful.”

After | Hope

This is what Chati Coronel aims to remind the world as it comes out of lockdown: that there is a rhythm, a balance to the everyday. A sense in chaos, a peace in noise, though initially obscured. That despite the darkness, the essence of life remains unchanged – and the greatest force of all still shines above and lies within.

Words by Marga Ortigas

After receiving her degree in Architecture from The University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines in 1991, Chati Coronel deviated from that path and built in its stead a painting practice that has now spanned 3 decades. Coronel has found her artistic voice in a process she calls, Figurative Spatialism in which she paints layers of abstract movement and contains them in a color space that forms the silhouette of a human figure. 

Influenced by the principles of Philosopher, Rudolf Steiner and Architect, Louis Khan, Coronel explores a subject by understanding its beginning and then engages it in a futuristic form of myth making through her art. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and art fairs in Los Angeles, Manila, Florence, Singapore and most recently, Art Basel Hong Kong. Chati Coronel is based in Toronto and is represented by Silverlens Galleries.

Marga Ortigas is a writer and broadcast journalist with a career spanning nearly 30 years over 5 continents. For CNN International, she covered the war in Iraq and worked across Europe from a base in London. In 2006, she returned to Manila and the Asia Pacific, reporting from throughout the region as senior correspondent for Al Jazeera.

A British Council Chevening Scholar, Marga earned a Master of Arts degree in literature and criticism from the University of Greenwich. 

Her first novel is being published at the end of 2021, and she is the editor of “I, Migrant”, a website that showcases diasporic writing, championing the belief that beneath the trappings of people’s differences lies a universal humanity. 

From ancient Egyptian mysteries right through to today’s space expeditions, my deep dive into studying the Cosmos began with a desperate investigation into the apparent connection between my daughter’s seizures and the phases of the moon. Several years later, my exploration has bloomed into a profound search for human purpose and healing. 

Using the power of art to connect thousands of years of human evolution through the propagation of myths, I sought to create my own mythical representation of cosmic forces through 7 paintings representing the “Classical Planets” of Ancient Astronomy. Taking cues from Greek mythology which portrays the qualitative forces of the planets as gods and goddesses, my intention has been to infuse life into abstract astronomical data through new form embodiments representing these cosmic forces.

Celestial Data for Daydreaming aims to bring home the physicality of the cosmic forces by reminding us that we have the physical experience of sunrises, sunsets, seasons, tides, and time because of the earth’s relationship with the Sun, the Moon and the cosmos. It reminds us that each one of us is an active physical participant in an alive, harmonised dance of forces.

Installation Views

Works

Chati Coronel
Mars: CourageXLoveXHope
2021
6918
2
acrylic on canvas
84h x 60w in • 213.36h x 152.40w cm
1
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0
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Chati Coronel
Mercury/Hermes: Wilful Devotion
2021
6919
2
acrylic on canvas
60h x 48w in • 152.40h x 121.92w cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
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Chati Coronel
Jupiter: Celestial Gifts
2021
6917
2
acrylic on canvas
84h x 60w in • 213.36h x 152.40w cm
0
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0
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Chati Coronel
Sun/Apollo: True Light
2020
6922
2
acrylic on canvas
60h x 84w in • 152.40h x 213.36w cm
0
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0
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Chati Coronel
Venus: Impossible Flowers Bloom in Impossible Landscapes
2020
6923
2
acrylic on canvas
84h x 60w in • 213.36h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
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0
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Chati Coronel
Moon/Luna-Sophia: From Knowledge to Wisdom
2021
6920
2
acrylic on canvas
60h x 48w in • 152.40h x 121.92w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
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Chati Coronel
Saturn/Kronos: In the Arms of Time
2020
6921
2
acrylic on canvas
60h x 84w in • 152.40h x 213.36w cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
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Video

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