FAJARDO, Brenda, From ‘Cards of life – Women’s series’
Brenda Fajardo’s prints and paintings consistently address social and political issues while drawing on folk art, figurative painting and, in this series, the imagery and visual arrangement of tarot cards. The colourful and carnivalesque figures of the tarot have inspired this series of ink paintings, in which the artist offers an alternative ‘reading’ of Filipino history. Its characters – from royal and religious figures to the Fool and the Hanged Man – suggest contemporary counterparts in Filipino society, placed within the scenes of historical events. As well as traditional figures, there are popular heroes, men and women from different eras, and tribal and Muslim Filipinos, reflecting the artist’s interest in history and the complexity of national identity across class and ethnic groupings. The variety of women figures resisting feudal stereotyping suggests a distinct feminist orientation.