I had the pleasure of being a featured storyteller at the Volcano Art Center at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, ‘Stories from the Summit: Moving On‘. The program was about personal accounts of the 2018 Kilauea Eruption. I shared my story of how my art evolved while being displaced and how art helped me heal. It was an honor to share my personal experience with such a captive audience, including Leilani and Volcano Village residents, and scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and The United States Geological Survey agency. Every presenter shared different experiences of living on an active volcano, it was a privilege to hear so many personal accounts. For myself, it was also another step for healing and processing.
I presented about my art style before the eruption, the days leading up to the eruption, evacuation, and then how my art evolved over the next 70 days how my DISPLACED series began.
Due to the emotional and physical impact of the eruption, my artistic style sharply shifted from impressionistic to abstract expressionism in order to properly convey the nuance of this experience. As time passed I developed a visual mark-making language that helped guide my process: bold marks of color translating as a mass of new earth, small hatches resembling the many earthquakes experienced, the opacity of new marks covering old give a history of what once existed.
Certainly, the best part of this night was the opportunity to share my work with Tina Neal. Tina is the Hawai’i Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge, she was THE woman on TV and Social Media giving updates to the community during the eruption. It was an honor to meet her, I gave her a print of “Kīlauea Rising”.