While pictorial and sculptural art often relies on intuitive interpretation, the process of creating is intentional. Three artists working in three different media from three different Hawaiian Islands have brought their work to the Schaefer Gallery in the hopes of expanding the vision, jolting complacency and bring inward serenity to viewers.
Lynne Gilroy lives in Makena on a bluff overlooking the ocean. From this vantage point she observes the seasonal changes in the play of light on clouds, water and land. In large oil canvases Gilroy has “taken realistic elements [and presented them] in a series of patterns that reflect her interest in atmospheric perspective” said Darrell Orwig, Schaefer Gallery curator.
A great example is Gilroy’s South/Summer-Sunrise at Kalaeoka’ilio, which is divided into five bands suggesting consecutive frames of filmstrip. The luminosity of clouds at dawn, the gathering of darkness in rain-laden clouds followed by a dramatic releasing of rain, and finally clouds lifting to reveal a distant landscape is wondrous to behold.
Moving on from the bright luminous colors of Gilroy’s oils, the next thing the viewer encounters are the subdued black and white charcoal canvases of Linda Kane of O’ahu.
Using charcoal on paper and found natural objects, Kane creates powerful “installation works” that are three-dimensional when put together. Tree trunks and sheared branches of discarded Christmas trees stand between the viewer and the charcoal canvases. According to Kane, the “Recycled wood sculpture and the charcoal painting work off each other. The three dimensional juxtaposition intrudes in our space.”
In Lele Ka Hoaka, “the spirit has flown away”, the charcoal is refined and controlled. The viewer’s eyes are drawn into a vortex meant to express the artist’s sense of foreboding: “My mom was really sick at that time,” said Kane.
Other canvases are roughed up. “I take white square erasers, slice them down like white bread to get a sharp edge,” said Kane. With these erasers, Kane works away at the charcoal with a ferocity that reveals her admitted anger at the loss of wahi pana–sacred places–and locales beloved to Hawaiians.
Next, the viewer moves into the gallery devoted to the work of sculptor Randy Takaki of Hawai‘i, Takaki creates his sculpture from found and salvaged wood that has history. In one three-foot high sculpture, according to Takaki, a tiny figure sits atop posts from a house built in the 1930s.
The figure, entitled Wu Wei, is looking down from a place of “serenity, peace and quiet”–the essence of Taoism from which the term wu wei is taken. Like a Japanese landscape painting, the figure is dwarfed, nameless and faceless–humbled by the surroundings.
Three years ago, Takaki was studying in Japan in a cabin in a white cypress forest. The sculptures have “Helped me understand my awakened sense of humanity,” said Takaki. “I don’t understand when I’m doing these sculptures, but I am growing spiritually from them” said Takaki. MTW