Material Research

Therese Regalado

Therese Regalado’s first solo exhibition, Material Research, looks into the coming together of materials, textures, and forms through persistent inquiry and curiosity. Her workflow is spurred by puzzle - solving, like piecing together a game without fixed mechanics which Regalado then opens up to allow for reorientation. These objects, she says, really are built through magic: for her, the maker, a belief in the life and energy of materials and for us, the user, a conviction in our interest and intelligence. In many ways these assembled things convey experiments in faith.

(L-R) Prototype (chest) with Continuous Shelf (detail), 2021, Fascia B (detail), 2021, and Rheuma Lamp (detail), 2021

For Regalado, the user - viewer is multiple; that is to say, these objects really are for everyone to take some pleasure in — not just the art - viewer, or the design - user or the distanced spectator. There is very little fragmentation between these concepts. This is resonant to her, the artist who designs or the designer who works in art, who is comfortable in a position that breathes confidently from and through her own space of making.

For Regalado, the user - viewer is multiple; that is to say, these objects really are for everyone to take some pleasure in — not just the art - viewer, or the design - user or the distanced spectator. There is very little fragmentation between these concepts. This is resonant to her, the artist who designs or the designer who works in art, who is comfortable in a position that breathes confidently from and through her own space of making.

Regalado has recently located this space in what she calls a “fastness”, an old word that suggests a stronghold or a fortified refuge, one often found in the natural environment. Here, in this very personal room, luminescence is stimulus. As the designer - artist puts it: “...(most of) the objects I have made were really because there was a need for light”. But light here is one also made to confront opacity through any number of ways — as in the Rheuma lamps made of precisely cut and linked bamboo slats that expand and swell at will; or in the Cocoon sculptures wrapped in downy layers of raw silk sewn and merged in patches to form tufts or cubes of diffused light; or in the Fascia light boxes that swivel and move, the same raw silk stretching and folding as the stainless steel frames are turned sideways.


Fascia A,
2021. Raw silk, stainless steel frame and hardware, 2 pcs T5 24" 8 watts LED bulbs with receptacle (daylight), electrical wires, switch and plug. 36h x 36w x 5.25d in •  91.44h x 91.44w x 13.34d cm

Movement is requisite. “I want to keep making objects in this balance of shifting and softening rigidity”, Regalado says. Hence bamboo, choice material, is flexed and bended, encasing stainless steel. They are made hypermobile or supple enough to withstand extreme stress — the stuff of superhuman facility.


Fascia A,
2021. Raw silk, stainless steel frame and hardware, 2 pcs T5 24" 8 watts LED bulbs with receptacle (daylight), electrical wires, switch and plug. 36h x 36w x 5.25d in •  91.44h x 91.44w x 13.34d cm

Movement is requisite. “I want to keep making objects in this balance of shifting and softening rigidity”, Regalado says. Hence bamboo, choice material, is flexed and bended, encasing stainless steel. They are made hypermobile or supple enough to withstand extreme stress — the stuff of superhuman facility.

This power or potentiality is made evident in how the works reference the body, or as Regalado prefers, “our bodies”, but in wholly more inclusive, embracing ways. Fascia (Latin for bandage or swathe) is three things: an architectural feature that defines the outline of a roof’s exterior, a carpentry term for the supports of a chair’s legs, and “the myofascial web of our bodies” — the membrane that lies close to the surface of our skins. In this exhibition, it is a kind of light that changes shape confounding material predispositions.

Rheuma Lamp (detail), 2021. Kawayan, stainless steel frame and hardware, T5 12" 4 watts LED bulb with receptacle (daylight), electrical wires, switch and plug.

What is apparent in these embodiments is an accommodation of the body in the face of various tensilities and resistances. Skin - like silk is made almost unsilk - like, that is, familiar, less excessive — hairy bits and all — but no less precious. Reworked wooden chests similar to vanity boxes with compartments that move through unexpected mechanisms serve ambiguous ends, inviting self - construction and adaptation. Shelves, that do not immediately seem shelf - like, hold belongings in clever ways.

There too is the relationship with technology: its reshaping toward another awareness or an intrusion into the supply chain—this through working with the raw fabric produced by silkworms right before they are spun to threads (a recovery of the material from the machine).

Objects are highly tolerant and one is granted always enough space, enough time to fiddle and turn, though the levers and motions might not always be obvious. These are systems that can only work with pause. While the current exhibition may not afford us the tactility of these mechanisms given the pandemic, the tangible and shiftable are critical for Regalado “so that the light is not static”.


Cocoon (Cube),
2021. Raw silk, giant bamboo fixture, stainless steel hardware, E12 watts LED bulb (daylight), receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug. 10h x 9.75w x 12.50d in • 25.40h x 24.77w x 31.75d cm


Cocoon (Cube),
2021. Raw silk, giant bamboo fixture, stainless steel hardware, E12 watts LED bulb (daylight), receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug. 10h x 9.75w x 12.50d in • 25.40h x 24.77w x 31.75d cm

Objects are highly tolerant and one is granted always enough space, enough time to fiddle and turn, though the levers and motions might not always be obvious. These are systems that can only work with pause. While the current exhibition may not afford us the tactility of these mechanisms given the pandemic, the tangible and shiftable are critical for Regalado “so that the light is not static”.

Whether or not one is able to touch them, however, it is apparent that inherent in the structure of the fixtures is a range for generous pivot. This investment in give reveals Regalado’s fixation on the bisagra or the hinge — a joint that connects, fastens and secures several parts. It’s a fascination with the swinging and moving of parts, one that always intends for things to be more than just one thing; or materials that persuade despite intention, projecting and animating lives of their own.

Prototype (chest), 2021. Revised found object.

About

    During this time, I’ve been moving at a slower pace. The slow pulse has made me appreciate the space and fastness between objects and instances. Procuring materials and moving through different iterations of the same object has taken on the same rhythm now: slow but at least there’s still enough room to wiggle.

    With my current restricted movements, the only place I felt alive was while listening to Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of time. He composed it during World War 2 while imprisoned in a German camp. Inspired by the absence of the electric wailing of the Ondes Martenot, Messiaen’s compositions expanded time and space for me. I wanted to feel this expansion of movement in the materials I use, the objects I make and the people who choose to use them. To explore this further, I want to challenge notions of material restrictions and assembly — to combine them into utilitarian/objects that are open to interpretation.

    Movement is expressed through design and selection of contrasting materials. I want to experiment with how materials can be combined, fastened and bent into forms that are familiar, but need reorientation and puzzle-solving in assembly — this process however always leads me towards making light fixtures where the structure of playing with light and opaqueness is set up but the interpretations are up to the user.

    Working with the following materials:
    Bamboo
    Stainless Steel
    Raw Silk

    I feel that Bamboo is always alive — its skin-covering fibers grow from node fingerlings and continue to lengthen with age. It is able to flex and shows how much give it can handle. Even after it is cut, it is temperamental.

    I choose to amend the cold, rigid and sterile nature of stainless steel by combining its hardware function while also imitating the careful gestures of the bamboo.

    Fragile, raw silk from my hometown of Negros Occidental is added to these materials to shift and diffuse through its fibrous filmy translucent surface.

    While making these things, I’ve been thinking about light as a material of itself and how it has its own pulse much like Messiaen’s composition and the flex of the bamboo, it is alive or at least inspires breath.

    I want to keep making in this balance of shifting and softening rigidity. In the objects I’ve designed previously they all have multiple uses and movement in mind which is why it’s difficult for me to give it a specific label and say it is one thing when I’ve intended it to do more.

    Therese Regalado (bb. 1987) researches and relates materials, craft and puzzle - solving in making objects. Her work intervenes with processes of how materials are made and fidgeting with notions of restrictions and assembly — to combine parts into objects that are open to interpretation.

    ware - co (founded in 2013) is a project inspired by her research and investigations on how things and materials are adapted in their surroundings along with the human touch. Importance is placed on long - term usage, inviting gestures and carrying. With each item is a careful balance of proportion and practicality. They are things with daily movement considered. [ware - co.info]

    Lives and works in the Philippines

    Paula Acuin is a teacher and cultural worker.

During this time, I’ve been moving at a slower pace. The slow pulse has made me appreciate the space and fastness between objects and instances. Procuring materials and moving through different iterations of the same object has taken on the same rhythm now: slow but at least there’s still enough room to wiggle.

With my current restricted movements, the only place I felt alive was while listening to Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of time. He composed it during World War 2 while imprisoned in a German camp. Inspired by the absence of the electric wailing of the Ondes Martenot, Messiaen’s compositions expanded time and space for me. I wanted to feel this expansion of movement in the materials I use, the objects I make and the people who choose to use them. To explore this further, I want to challenge notions of material restrictions and assembly — to combine them into utilitarian/objects that are open to interpretation.

Movement is expressed through design and selection of contrasting materials. I want to experiment with how materials can be combined, fastened and bent into forms that are familiar, but need reorientation and puzzle-solving in assembly — this process however always leads me towards making light fixtures where the structure of playing with light and opaqueness is set up but the interpretations are up to the user.

Working with the following materials:
Bamboo
Stainless Steel
Raw Silk

I feel that Bamboo is always alive — its skin-covering fibers grow from node fingerlings and continue to lengthen with age. It is able to flex and shows how much give it can handle. Even after it is cut, it is temperamental.

I choose to amend the cold, rigid and sterile nature of stainless steel by combining its hardware function while also imitating the careful gestures of the bamboo.

Fragile, raw silk from my hometown of Negros Occidental is added to these materials to shift and diffuse through its fibrous filmy translucent surface.

While making these things, I’ve been thinking about light as a material of itself and how it has its own pulse much like Messiaen’s composition and the flex of the bamboo, it is alive or at least inspires breath.

I want to keep making in this balance of shifting and softening rigidity. In the objects I’ve designed previously they all have multiple uses and movement in mind which is why it’s difficult for me to give it a specific label and say it is one thing when I’ve intended it to do more.

Therese Regalado (bb. 1987) researches and relates materials, craft and puzzle - solving in making objects. Her work intervenes with processes of how materials are made and fidgeting with notions of restrictions and assembly — to combine parts into objects that are open to interpretation.

ware - co (founded in 2013) is a project inspired by her research and investigations on how things and materials are adapted in their surroundings along with the human touch. Importance is placed on long - term usage, inviting gestures and carrying. With each item is a careful balance of proportion and practicality. They are things with daily movement considered. [ware - co.info]

Lives and works in the Philippines

Paula Acuin is a teacher and cultural worker.

Video

Works

Therese Regalado
Rheuma Lamp
2021
7468
3
kawayan, stainless steel frame and hardware, E12 9 watts LED bulb (daylight), receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug
24h x 12w x 2.50d in • 60.96h x 30.48w x 6.35d cm (flat) | 22h x 12.75w x 8.5d in • 55.88h x 32.38w x 21.59d cm (installed)
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR001
Details
Therese Regalado
Fascia A
2021
7462
3
raw silk, stainless steel frame and hardware, 2 pcs T5 24" 8 watts LED bulbs with receptacle (daylight), electrical wires, switch and plug
36h x 36w x 5.25d in • 91.44h x 91.44w x 13.34d cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR008
Details
Therese Regalado
Cocoon (Sphere)
2021
7466
3
raw silk, giant bamboo frame, stainless steel hardware, E12 9 watts LED bulb (daylight), receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug
12h x 10.50w x 13d in • 30.48h x 26.67w x 33.02d cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR004
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Therese Regalado
Cocoon (Cube)
2021
7463
3
raw silk, giant bamboo fixture, stainless steel hardware, E12 1 watts LED bulb (daylight), receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug
10h x 9.75w x 12.50d in • 25.40h x 24.77w x 31.75d cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR006
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Therese Regalado
Prototype (chest) with Continuous Shelf
2021
7467
3
revised found object, stainless steel flat bar (5mm)
10.25h x 13w x 8d in • 26.04h x 33.02w x 20.32d cm (wooden box sculpture) | 12h x 36w x 6d in • 30.48h x 91.44w x 15.24d cm (2" flat bar 5mm thick) (stainless steel shelf)
0
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR012
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Therese Regalado
Cocoon (Cube)
2021
7464
3
raw silk, giant bamboo fixture, stainless steel hardware, E12 watts LED bulb (daylight), receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug
10h x 9w x 12.50d in • 25.40h x 22.86w x 31.75d cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR007
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Therese Regalado
Cocoon (Sphere-concave)
7465
3
raw silk, giant bamboo frame, stainless steel hardware, E12 9 watts LED bulb (daylight) , receptacle, electrical wires, switch and plug
10.50h x 10w x 11d in • 26.67h x 25.40w x 27.94d cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR005
Details
Therese Regalado
Fascia B
2021
7461
3
raw silk, stainless steel frame and hardware, 2 pcs T5 24" 8 watts LED bulbs with receptacle (daylight), electrical wires, switch and plug
36h x 36w x 5.25d in • 91.44h x 91.44w x 13.34d cm
1
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR009
Details
Therese Regalado
Rheuma Lamp
2021
7469
3
kawayan, stainless steel frame and hardware, T5 12" 4 watts LED bulb with receptacle (daylight), electrical wires, switch and plug
36h x 20w x 2.50d in • 91.44h x 50.80w x 6.35d cm (flat) | 29.5h x 20.75w x 14d in • 73.66h x 75.56w x 35.56d cm (installed)
0
0.00
PHP
0
SPI_TR003
Details
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