Sundays have always been a communal day for visual artist Gabby Prado.
Before the pandemic, her Sunday mornings began with a hearty breakfast at either her grandmother’s house or theirs. She attends the 9 o’clock mass with her family, and returns to prepare brunch with everyone.
That is when she envisions the Sunday dining table as a canvas of colors and movement. The warm corn are her bright yellow accents, with splatters or rings of brown that seemingly wakes the whole piece the way the coffee does, and the array of pastries ready to be filled up with corned beef or butter nourish her large-scale pieces swathes that liken the movement of how they were picked, passed and served.
But Prado’s brunch does not encompass just the dining area. With her chromesthesia (a variation of synesthesia where sounds are portrayed in a spectrum of colors and shapes), she is also able to “listen” to her grandfather’s radio humming the news for the day, which echo the jagged yet collectively calm lines in her works.
Her fifth solo show represents just those: the nostalgia of the Sundays that once were. It captures the memories of homecooked comfort food wafting in the air and the crisp chatter of her relatives echoing in the house. Prado relives this feeling of brightness and life through “Sunday Brunch is Yellow”, which also presents typical Filipino weekend gatherings we have to put on hold.
As warm abstractions of her home reflect what Sundays were like before the pandemic, she likewise narrates the idea of a scheduled comfort, that perhaps it is not only created in people and places but also in days where we find to be warmer than the rest.
Though the pandemic proves to make this Sunday routine more difficult to maintain, she embraces the feeling through the color yellow—happy, alive, and patiently waiting for the next Sunday to be just as bright.
notes by Grace Micah Oreiro