Yavuz Gallery Sydney is proud to present an exhibition of seminal work from award-winning and internationally-acclaimed husband-and-wife duo Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. The pair approach their collaborative practice from the lens of their own personal experiences of global movement in relation to family and home. In doing so, they create highly detailed installations and sculptures that spark conversations around ideas of identity, migration, journey and displacement. Often using everyday, non-traditional materials, they draw attention to the transient nature of global movement, settlement and community, to create objects that serve as metaphors for everyday human life.
As their first Australian commercial exhibition in over a decade, Arrivals and Departures presents a reworking of the immense project presented at Auckland Art Gallery in 2018-2019, Project Another Country: From Pillars to Posts. By bringing together local communities to build the structure of the work, each individual element becomes a personalised story connected within a larger matrix of these three epic pillars. Wing (Large) (2019) is another featured work that was first presented at Bunjil Place in Victoria, Australia, that resulted from several months of assemblage workshops that initiated discussions around understandings of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’. Hundreds of small cardboard homes were created and added to this 10 meter-long wall work.
Last Flight (2009) is the larger-than-life piece comprised of hundreds of colourful rubber sandals sourced from the fisherman village of Bagasbas (Philippines), working with the local community to sort and collect personal belongings that accumulated along the shoreline. These lost and discarded fragments from individuals, each with their own interwoven and entangled history, come together to form angel wings that ultimately act as a poetic symbol of hope. Last Flight is the first of an important broader series of wing sculptures constructed from recycled flip-flops.
In the participatory work Commonwealth: Project Another Country (2013-19), visitors are encouraged to try on a crown made from cooking oil tin cans, and take a self-portrait in front of a mirror with the hashtag #everybodywantsacrown. The work renders imagery of royal and religious crowns in common household objects, collapsing notions of preciousness and exclusivity, and of colonial legacies and power. It opens dialogues on the individual within collective and larger histories, pivotal to the artists’ collaborative and cumulative practice.