Portals of Reflection
Filipino-Australian artist Jessica Dorizac creates new portals of identity by juxtaposing everyday materials and repurposing them into unconventional objects. From designing handmade notebooks to custom mirrors, she makes a spectacle at Sunnies Studios’ biggest store yet.
Jessica Dorizac’s body of work is like witnessing a conductor orchestrate a grand ensemble through shapes, colors, and textures. The world is her collage and accessing her pieces feels like a return to childhood when one can freely roam the unfamiliar. This perspective is one of the reasons Sunnies Studios invited her to furnish a space in its flagship store.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Dorizac’s practice is informed by her dual identity that bridges the cultural similarities and divides between Australia and the Philippines. She’s inspired by the strong matriarchy of her Filipino roots and unconsciously wields this same power through her art that is unafraid to explore the aesthetic codes of life in the margins. That’s why she constantly travels from Australia to visit her in-laws’ hometown in Los Baños, Laguna, so she can expand her worldview together with her partner in life and art, Miguel Aquilizan.
Her inspirations can range from native ornamentation and fluoro-pink Safeguard soaps to nuanced historical discourse that seeks to untangle complex cultural narratives. By scrutinizing the possibilities of material art whether it be in the form of wood shavings or paper cutouts Dorizac doesn’t just occupy space, she marks her own territory.
What type of eyewear do you usually prefer?
I believe if you are going to wear something on your face, it must complement the rest of your outfit. I like to have options – a variety of eyewear – from a chunky cateye to a rimless frame. Also, our eyes are extremely important, and I take UV sun protection very seriously, using eyewear with UV filters and hats.
What makes a room exciting?
Atmosphere, lighting, textiles, well-placed reflective surfaces, and a comfortable place to sit make a room pleasant. It is the people in it that make it exciting.
How did you envision your mirrors in the Sunnies Studios store?
I envisioned them to act as windows, portals even, to transform how one sees themselves reflected at them.
What is it like to constantly move between the Philippines and Australia? What’s it like to shift
between two cultural identities?
Shifting between two cultural identities has led me to forge a path of my own – creating a space that is ever-expanding and also immensely complex. This multifaceted perception is evocative in
my collage work with the vibrant colors and captivating geometric shapes, endlessly overlapping.
Patterns and cutouts have always been a huge part of your work, how did you discover these
Collage was practiced in my home during childhood. I remember cutting up magazines and catalogs – creating narratives, wish lists, and landscapes.
What were your early influences?
20th-century artists from the Western art canon informed my early art education. Artists including Matisse, Mondrian, Malevich, Picasso, and Gauguin – whose works were vastly influenced by African, Oceanic, and tribal art – prompted me to further investigate my own Filipino heritage and attempt to understand its various, complex, and rich perspectives and experiences.
What compelled you to start creating notebooks?
Necessity. I like to live my life by the notion that if I can make it (within reason), rather than buy it, I
What’s the last note or image you’ve scribbled?
Drawings and words. I use my notebook like a basket that holds everything, so I can free up my mind, so it is able to flow continuously.
Any quote you currently adhere to?
Amongst the many deep and serious quotes, shared with me by various friends over the years, the standout is G.M.G. (“Google mo, gago”), which translates to “do your research” in English.
How were you able to incorporate Sunnies Studios with your notebook series?
This particular notebook series for Sunnies Studios incorporates the chosen colors of the store
and multiple dimensions that are seen in my mirror collages. It is a celebration and memento of
the invitation that Sunnies Studios gave me to translate my collages for their physical store.