The Call of Now: “Once Here” by Tammy De Roca at Art Elaan

It is said that in the past, the measure of happiness was not health or even positivity, but the ability to stay in a flow state or that moment when you are so absorbed in your work that your sense of time disappears and you are able to work without distraction. Across different religions, it was common for art to be seen as an almost spiritual practice.

Tammy De Roca’s solo show “Once Here” is the product of this discipline. In the artist’s own words: “The series of works continue the meditative aspect of the artist’s art-making process. This is in lieu of associating the mind, rhythmic meditation, and creative play in cultivating awareness of the present moment; to disregard what was done and to accept what can be”. And what can be a better exercise in mindfulness than working with one’s hands to create something tangible?

Far from being escapist, Tammy De Roca’s art process functions as a grounding ritual from which the artist is able to draw positivity. Indeed, accepting the present can be a humbling experience, because it involves recognizing our limitations, not with an attitude of resignation, but rather a determination to work with what we have that only comes from an honest look at the here and now. Only then can we affect change in the future.

Tammy De Roca is a graduate of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. For her inspiration, she cites Elaine Navas for having seascapes as her subject matter and Mark Rothko for his abstract works. As a student, she took on different side jobs to support her art career, venturing into graphic design for various magazines, commercial art commissions, and even modeling. In 2017, she represented Pasay at the Miss Earth Philippines. Today, she continues to pursue her passion as an artist with numerous solo and group show participations across the Metro.

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Nicole Lasquety

A visual artist and writer with a passion for media exploration, where big ideas are commonplace. Art, theater, personal essays. lasquetynicole@gmail.com