All the Open Spaces For and Of Solitude


Reading time : 4 minutes

Photographs by Borgy Angeles
Words by Niles Jordan D. Breis

Published on March 1, 2021

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Borgy Angeles takes sunset images, twilight evocations.

There’s something deceptively simple in Borgy Angeles’ images depicting Solitude. It’s a seven-piece work on a certain sunset and suggestively, hours before it, and the simplicity points to the relatively predictable ones: the sun’s muted tint of orange, the clouds edged by the receding light, the nearness of dusk and a bigger gleam of rays over leaves. Angeles admits, “Solitude, for me, is a feeling of serenity during the time of isolation or being alone.”

Angeles also recalls the need to be significantly productive. He continues, “So, I’ve focused on my personal works, on various personal projects, particularly exploring new medium(s).”

Not surprising then that Angeles remains undeterred, if only for the collaboration with fashion brand Bagasao, as a glaring proof. Angeles’ images and Bagasao’s creativity interlock in what he once revealed as one of trust and freedom, but with his emphasis on nature as source(s) of inspiration. As to how the surroundings affect his creativity, the photographer explains, “First, I’m into natural light, as always. And, as I’ve said, it gives a different energy for me and to the people I work with, with some kind of different approach or perspective. Also, it’s been important for me to show in my work as to what influences me and my upbringing.”

Nature is enormously central to his sensibilities as an image-making artist who has been out in the open — spaces, views, places, clearings, mountains — to see things within universal truths such as Solitude. Angeles expounds, “Images for LAWIG were taken during sunset, on a mountainside, near where I live. I just tried to figure out how to translate Solitude into images. Just like what I always do when I make images, immersing myself with the space and letting it lead me. With this, it has prompted me to capture places and views in an abstract way that ignites for me a feeling of peace — Solitude.”

Angeles x Bagasao

Angeles was born in Marikina City but grew up in San Mateo, Rizal. Rizal for him is a semi-province, it being a few minutes away from Metro Manila and quite an urbanized area but he also adds, “There are still parts where you can still get in touch with nature since Rizal is basically at the foot of the mountain. It’s the factor that heavily influenced my upbringing.There are plenty of go-to places for  shoot locations. These spaces are often dry and sometimes, a riverside where I can freely do anything. And, I think, that’s the beauty of working with these kinds of spaces, the feeling of freedom to make my work.”

One of the most liminal photos in the Solitude set is Angeles’ apparently uneventful take on a nearly dry trail or path near some slender bushes.It’s a classic view up a bucolic landscape, idyllic even, but try to move your pondering gaze into the same bushes and observe what a fading daylight means to say. Angeles must be an opacarophile, a lover of sunsets by heart, and the said image speaks volumes: one’s anticipation for sunset as a companionable Solitude.

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