Art with historical perspective: ‘Ho‘oku‘i i na Kiko’ exhibit at VAC to feature cultural works by mother, daughter

  • “The Fallen at Lekeleke,” a feather cape by Lucia Tarallo.

    Courtesy photo

“Ho‘oku‘i i na Kiko” (“Connecting the Dots”), an exhibit featuring the multimedia artworks of Natalie Mahina Jensen and Lucia Tarallo, will be on display from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday through May 6 at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The exhibit is presented by Hale Naua III, Society of Maoli Arts.

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The public also is invited to a lecture at 3 p.m. Saturday by Tarallo titled “The Last Truth,” a poignant telling of the Battle of Kuamo‘o fought on Hawaii Island in 1819. An opening reception will follow.

While these events are free, national park entrance fees apply.

The extensive collection of art and cultural works created for this exhibit by the mother-daughter duo present a harmonious assortment of modern and iconographic works of art embedded with historical and philosophical points of view.

Photographs, paintings, sculptures and feather articles deliver a sublime message connecting the viewer artistically with the provenance of ancient designs.

Jensen’s paintings, in particular, display indigenous iconographic designs rendered to weave a human-life story or a particular maoli belief. Feather and ribbon capes and sashes made by Tarallo reveal the history of the making of capes during particular eras.

“The Volcano Art Center is honored to present this unique collection of art by two incredibly talented women,” said gallery manager Emily C. Weiss. “Together, their mastery of ancient art forms expose viewers to works of art which also encourage investigation into Hawaii’s unique history.

“Both artists have used the fine arts venue as an avenue of exploration since the Hawaiian renaissance. … Their goal is to allow the viewer to achieve a better understanding of Hawaii’s culture today by presenting events from the past.”

Born in Honolulu and raised in Makaha on the island of Oahu, Jensen was educated and trained since childhood in na mea hulu (Native Hawaiian feather work), later specializing in the sculpted feathered staff called kahili ku.

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Tarallo, a research historian, lecturer, award-winning author and artist, has designed, mounted and curated more than 150 fine art exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally. She and her daughter wrote the award-winning “Daughters of Haumea,” honored with the Po‘okela Award of Excellence.

For more information about the exhibit, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.

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