Big Bowl of Mystery Soup emerged after the passing of her Lola, her fathers mother in early 2020. Through conversations with her father about fruits and vegetables he remembered eating while growing up “back home” in The Philippines and in trying to remember the names of foods in a language she never learned, the piece explores her inability to cook in the way her father and her Lola honored their culture through food and preparation of food. It combines a dream like experience of sitting at the table eating food that tethered her to childhood, culture, and lineage. The multiple perspectives give reference to the privilege and paths forged by her ancestors. The variety of colors gives weight to the importance of vibrancy in Filipino food, especially deserts. The piece embodies the grief she still experiences in her attempts to cope and connect to a culture that always felt like it was further than she could ever reach.
Much of her arts’ inspiration emerged from a new fervor for reading and literary experiences combined with the passing of her Lola. Her desire for literary experiences became insatiable and she began to paint in tandem with new found literary creativity. Beginning with painting shapes with watercolor, she then shifted to painting dreams in gouache, and sketching interiors and architecture daily. She began to thread the loss of her Lola and trying to connect with her culture and her ancestors; reading books about the experience as the first generation in this country; painting spaces and interiors and then joined them all together. Her paintings lure the viewer into questioning perspective while calming its’ distortion with softly textured lines, colors, and shapes to create a reality that is gently skewed.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Veronica Billedo resides is a multi-disciplinary artist in Chicago. Chicago is where both of her parents immigrated in the 70’s and have lived ever since. Born as the first generation in this country, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts at Columbia College Chicago in Film and Photography and went on to explore painting and drawing. She was a photographer and yoga teacher for several years and in 2018 started painting as an exploration of therapy. In 2020 she completed a trauma-informed yoga teacher training at Room to Breathe Chicago, which led her to connect even more deeply with the perspective of mental and physical self care as art.
© Veronica Billedo