“I choose to live in my world so I can continue creating from within, from my thoughts, through my skin, human form and in my own evolving universe.”
These are the words of artist and art conservation specialist Annali Garcia who benchmarked her 10th anniversary in Manila via an exhibition at Ricco Renzo Galleries in Makati City. She has featured her personal collections that translate to her reflections, trips and people whom she met throughout her journey.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, she said of her exhibition, “I am in a continuous journey every year as an artist. I constantly explore various ways to express myself thru art. I am still discovering my full potential as an artist and I am taking bigger steps confidently as I produce more and more art as I learn from life, my work, my family, the things and plants around me. The social and political environment from life and work.”
And although she has gained experience in doing visual art, Garcia is more known in restoring art works. She is the president and lead restorer of Bottega Di Anna Maria Luisa, a DTI registered company in Manila that was established in Italy since 2002. Her team includes experts from Rome, Hong Kong, Sydney, and London.
Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design at UP Diliman and graduating as a Cum Laude, her MFA at Universidad De Salamanca in the region of Castilla Y Leon, Spain was graded Sobresaliente and her three-year training at Instituto Per I’ Arte E Il Restauro in Florence makes her qualified to restore artifacts for museums and private collectors.
Garcia explained, “I started doing art when I was only 12 years old. I really love drawing but in college I took technical course—Interior Design—that is I was looking for architects after graduation, I know drafting, I worked with architects so I have built knowledge for designing and building then later on I decided to specialize art conservation which is a very unique career still in this country.”
Garcia also shared that her training and formal residency with Italian maestros makes her one of the more qualified professionals in this field in the Asia Pacific region today. This practice spanned from since 2002 in Italy to Manila. Her small enterprise is accredited by the New South Wales Museum in Sydnet as of 2017, as a transnational artist who has exhibited in Florence, Italy (2003) and Manila (2008, 2012).
Art restorer is indeed very hard to find. The 48-year-old said that there are only a few art conservation specialists here in the Philippines.
“Konti pa lang kami. Before I got recognize, it’s a working progress, I am working on getting better to figure out how I can service people in a more efficient way. This year we’re looking for more proactive projects helping out one foundation after another for their advocacies. Right now it’s home based, it’s a small enterprise but I am open to growing in a right way, sustainably,” Garcia said.
“I want to create a franchise on my business not just in the Philippines but in other parts of the world. I am hoping to have a one-stop shop where we provide artworks, art conservation, urban planning design, architecture. I am just taking one step at a time. I still have to learn a lot of things to be an entrepreneur—the business side of it,” she added when asked about her future.
Finally, Garcia noted that she has indeed learned so much in her decades of hardwork.
“You have to always learn, don’t be afraid to keep upgrading your skills. You can’t get stuck in just one corner and just stay. You have to reinvent yourself all the time. Do new things and also learn from important people,” Garcia ended.
For more information about Bottega Di Anna Maria Luisa artwork restoration visit their office at 68 B. E. Abada St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City or contact them at conservationart2020@ gmail.com; (+632) 281-7774; (+63) 905-4582850.