Hauoli is Hawaiian for Happiness, which is what my new body of work reflects. Last year and the months leading up to it I have personally been the happiest I have ever been in love and in life, from the year prior where I was the saddest and loneliest.
These indigo quilts tell the story of my unabashed happiness. The lush imagery celebrates two of my favorite muses: my daughter Violet and surfers. In these harsh political times, I made a conscious decision to focus on the big, joyful moments; snapshots of beauty to express my own Haouli.
Often I think about the lyrics to the song The Night I Heard Caruso Sing by Everything But The Girl written during the threat of nuclear war in the 1980s. The lyrics are:
“I've thought of having children But I've gone and changed my mind It's hard enough to watch the news Let alone explain it to a child To cast your eye 'cross nature Over fields of rape and corn And tell him without flinching Not to fear where he's been born
Then someone sat me down last night And I heard Caruso sing He's almost as good as Presley And if I only do one thing I'll sing songs to my father I'll sing songs to my child It's time to hold your loved ones While the chains are loosed and the world Runs wild “
The song is about the redemptive power of music and holding those closest to you during hopeless times, which is how I feel about the power of art and embracing those I love in these uncertain times.
Visiting the North Shore of Hawaii this past March was a long held dream. Hauoli encompasses powerful emotions of bliss of the North Shore surf culture along with precious moments spent alone with my daughter, Violet.
These indigo quilts are narratives. Like the traditional American quilts, I have made up my own stories and sewn them into the narrative of my artworks, capturing and stitching together stories of my happiness and of my subjects.
Hauoli is an intentional choice I made to embrace the splendor around me while conversely letting go of the divisiveness and hopelessness of this time.
I am Hauoli.
For more information about the artist, please visit her website.