Of Thread And Textile: Raffy Napay’s Bedazzling Works
Known for his careful use of themes interrelated with filial connections, ideas and their interconnectivity, and “endless blessings”, Raffy Napay is a notable Filipino contemporary artist. His works have minuscule details rendered delicately with the artist’s impressive utilization of thread and textile.
From Paint to Thread
During his collegiate days as a Fine Arts: Advertising student in Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), Napay’s preferred medium was paint--until he decided to use thread. The use of thread and textiles in his work was introduced by his mother who is a seamstress.
A photo of Napay while sewing by machine from spot.ph
Eventually, Napay learned to sew by hand and a machine. He used both methods to come up with intricate, simple, and captivating artworks vis-à-vis “scale-played” subjects and details of each.
Even when he shifted to sewing, Napay still had two exhibitions using paint.
Of Spaces and Connections
Details of “Sanctuary” (2015) from ateneoartgallery.org
In 2013, Napay’s “Thread Experience” won in the Ateneo Art Awards. The work honors his seamstress mother. According to The Philippine Daily Inquirer, he took time to show “sources of emotion, memory, nostalgia and creativity”.
Winning the award led him to Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom the succeeding year. As a resident, he explored the art scene as he made use of “spaces of homeliness”. He saw these things as sanctuaries for mutualism in terms of growth and human connections. He capped off his residency with an exhibit entitled “Hope Springs."
As part of his Ateneo Art Awards triumph, Napay received another residency grant by Artesan Gallery in Singapore.
He was also the recipient of the Philippine Art Awards’ Award of Excellence in 2012 for his "Ang Mananahi ng Buhay at Ang Makinang na Makina" which had shown in West Gallery.
Lastly, he was one of Art Fair Philippines special exhibitions in 2016.
A glance at Napay’s family portrait from @artfairph.
Napay also received the coveted International “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Award for Textile Art from Florence Biennale in 2015.
He continues to produce breathtaking pieces with thread and textiles.