Ma. Athela “Tekla” Tamoria (b. 1989) graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts with a degree in Painting in 2010. After working in the corporate industry for two years, she enrolled in Garments classes in a local technical school to study tailoring. She was a featured artist in Art in the Park 2018 with her outdoor paper installation Colony. She was represented by Vinyl on Vinyl in the Asia Now Paris Art Fair 2018. She also took part in Variation of the Fields, a group exhibition held in Vargas Museum last December 2019.
In her first solo show Baby Girl X (Kaida Contemporary 2018), she exhibited floor-length gowns constructed out of modular folded paper which she has meticulously assembled for several years. She would farther develop this wearable art motif in projects such as Alterbibo, animating the art objects with fictional personalities and performance. In her show Grace Period, she had to relearn casting and sculptural techniques to create bizarre mannequin-like characters fusing figurative representation and hard-edge geometric abstraction. In her most recent solo show Manang, From Quarantine With Love (Kaida Contemporary 2020) she created intimate tableaus using embroidery, quilting and patchwork; the scenes homages to vignetted matriarchs unveiling their domestic acts of hospitality for posterity.
Tamoria’s craft-based practice using readily-available materials is a manifestation of the aesthetic resourcefulness and ingenuity deeply-rooted in local culture. Taking hints from diverse sources ranging from costume design to fractal patterns in nature, her work ethic involves intricate problem-solving processes one encounters when modifying traditional techniques into strange new forms. This results in complex three-dimensional structures, close-knit representations of reality as seen from the perspective of a rather quirky sensibility.