January 1st, 2020 / posted by paularath

North Shore Surf’s Up, Pauahi Tower, 30 x 40″

If friends have noticed I haven’t seemed totally engaged with the holiday season this year, it’s true.

Something else has been much on my mind: textile art. I wouldn’t say I have been obsessing over it, but, well, it has occupied a chunk of my waking hours. I have been working on three pieces I hope will be accepted for a Hawaii Handweaver’s Hui show at Pauahi Tower in Bishop Square downtown. (I will find out on Saturday if they get in.)

South Shore Summer, Pauahi, 30 x 40″

These top three photos are the pieces I hope you will be seeing at Pauahi Tower after January 6.

Sand and Sea Series, Pauahi, 16 x 20″ each, set of 6

In addition, Punahou Carnival asked me to bring in three new pieces, so I have been working pretty hard getting all six pieces pau. The last three works (seen below) will be for sale at the Punahou Art Gallery during Punahou Carnival on February 7-8.

I always struggle with what to call these works. It would be simple if they were paintings, but they aren’t. Some say they look like paintings, but there is absolutely no paint on them, except for the borders on the gallery wrap canvases. Yes, they are all done on canvas, just like oil or acrylic paintings. But again, there’s no paint there. I use only naturally dyed fibers such as silk organza, linen, cotton, silk charmeuse, raw silk and some unusual fiber blends from Japan and Korea that contain metals.

Waimea Bay Summer: Jump!, Punahou, 20 x 30″ framed

Most of the fabrics I dye with indigo or rust, but I have also used Kakishibu (a Japanese dye made from fermented persimmons) for some darker details.

I no longer have access to an indigo vat on a regular basis, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep this process going. I even find myself short of workable rusty detritus these days! Who would have ever thought it would be hard to find rusty junk that dyes effectively?

Secret Cove, Punahou, 20 x 30″

This final work is a little different, as it’s part of my “Bowls of Blessings” series. They incorporate paint, as well as hand dyed fibers and papers. This series began with a three-part piece called “Myanmar Monks’ Blessings,” which was inspired by the beautiful colors of the monks robes that change with their religious growth from novice to abbot, ochre to maroon. This most recent one honors the people of Puna who have been struggling in recent years.

Prayers for Puna, Punahou, 36 x 36″

Please come to Pauahi Tower sometime between January 6 and July 6 to see the many works of Hawaii’s Handweavers….and, hopefully, me  If you want to see an explosion of local art, don’t miss the Punahou Carnival Gallery, which has an amazing amount of art for sale in a single weekend, February 7-8.

Paula Rath

Leave a comment:
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.