A sculptor’s journey through art, spirituality-A A +A
Saturday, March 31, 2012
PREMIER ecclesiastical artist Wilfredo “Willy” Layug has it made for himself early on in his colorful career as a sculptor.
Proclaimed by most religious and contemporary art enthusiasts as one of the most accomplished and celebrated sculptor of his time, Willy is the recipient of the Presidential Merit Award for Ecclesiastical Art. He received the Most
Outstanding Kapampangan Award for Ecclesiastical Art in 2005 and was also awarded as Outstanding Guaguaño.
Despite his many achievements, Layug still has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge to enrich his skills and ideas.
He traveled to Sevilla and Cordoba in Spain just before this Holy Week for a month-long apprenticeship with various ecclesiastical and contemporary artists here. He believes that being an artist involves the responsibility to pursue further studies and personal growth in one’s craft and spirituality.
"I consider it as a responsibility of artists to search for ways and techniques to better one's craft. One must grow as an artist and as a person.
I have seen in Seville how people value crafts that they have and I want to replicate that here in Betis," Layug said.
It was in Spain where he studied the art of Estofado. With the Estofado technique, a sculpted figure is covered entirely in gold lead except for the hands, feet, and head. It is then over painted, and decorative patterns are scratched into the surface to reveal the underlying glit.
His previous sojourn in Spain gave him the opportunity for an apprenticeship with Spanish master Paco Romero Zafra.
Arriving in Spain earlier this week, Willy will also embark on a spiritual journey. He will be participating in the Holy Week processions -- arguably, the only Kapampangan to have directly participated in a procession that is dominated by Spaniards.
In 2010, he participated in the Holy Week processions wearing the nazareno or penitential robe.
His experiences in Spain have imparted in him new ideas on how to merge ecclesiastical techniques in art into his contemporary works. He said he still has much to learn and would be embarking on another educational trip abroad next year.
Community as breeding place for art
In his spare time, Layug conducts free seminars on sculpture and painting. He believes that the future of local arts is in the next generation of community apprentices. Unselfishly, he personally imparts to them techniques he learned from his vast experiences. He is even studying the possibility of teaching ceramic painting to the young and women of the community.
"The greatest tragedy for an artist is never having the opportunity to share your knowledge to the next generation," Layug said.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 01, 2012.