• ᎩᎦᎨ x PŌ
    BRENDA MALLORY AND LEHUAUAKEA

    A selection of works created alongside each other during the artists' 2020-21 NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship
  • ᎩᎦᎨ x PŌ

     

    These works, created over the course of a year, explore ideas of interconnectivity, materiality, and process between artists Brenda Mallory (Citizen of Cherokee Nation) and Lehuauakea (Kanaka Maoli/Native Hawaiian). As part of the Mentor Artist Fellowship provided by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF), Brenda and Lehuauakea have spent the last year building a professional relationship while creating new works at a distance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and restrictions. Despite the distance, however, their works draw parallels in their similar material sensibilities and color palettes, often being pulled to the colors red and black in tandem. For each of the artists, these colors carry a strong personal and cultural significance, explored through different contemporary and traditional media within this collection.

     

    In 2020, Brenda was selected by NACF as a mentor for the program, which is focused on creating formal, structured opportunities for the transfer of knowledge, and supporting artistic rigor that furthers cultural perpetuation and creative development in Native communities. Brenda chose as her apprentice, Lehuauakea. Their work together during the fellowship culminates with this exhibition, ᎩᎦᎨ x PŌ, the Cherokee word for "red" and the ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi word for "black."

     

  • 'For Native Hawaiians, red and black carry meanings tied to creation, rebirth, life, and death. Red earth is often used...

    "For Native Hawaiians, red and black carry meanings tied to creation, rebirth, life, and death. Red earth is often used to symbolize blood, the lifeforce initiated by the feminine Haumea. Black is also seen as a representation of creation, as our cosomology tells of the birth of the universe taking place during the deepest night. Furthermore, the charcoal used in this piece was collected from the remains of trees burned the 2020 wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres outside of Portland, and I see that as a form of the god ʻAilāʻau, who destroys in order to create room for new beginnings."


    — Lehuauakea

     

  • Kapa, or bark cloth, is a traditional textile made throughout the Pacific. The knowledge behind this practice was nearly lost...

    Kapa, or bark cloth, is a traditional textile made throughout the Pacific. The knowledge behind this practice was nearly lost in Hawaiʻi as Kānaka Maoli were forced to assimilate to colonial clothing and materials. As a new generation of kapa makers is working to keep this tradition alive, the sustainable practice is allowed to evolve within and beyond a contemporary context. 

  • In this time-lapse video, Lehuauakea prepares a wauke tree for the kapa-making process by stripping the fibrous outer bark from the firm woody stalk. The fibrous bark is the material used to make the textile, done with a very intensive process of beating, folding, and soaking that is specific to different makers and their place-based traditions.

    This video condenses eight minutes of cutting and peeling into 60 seconds.

  • Lehuauakea and Brenda also spent a few days at Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, Oregon, during their...

    Lehuauakea and Brenda also spent a few days at Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, Oregon, during their mentorship period. During this time, Lehuauakea created a series of monotype prints, including this print of the endangered endemic Hawaiian crow, which is extinct in the wild. Thanks to conservation efforts led by the ʻAlalā Project on Lehuauakea's home island of Hawaiʻi, this bird is being bred in captivity for hopeful future release back into its native forest habitat across the archipelago.

  • Brenda Mallory

    • Brenda Mallory, Reformed Packings (Red), 2021
      Brenda Mallory, Reformed Packings (Red), 2021
    • Reformed Packings Red Detail Copy
    • Brenda Mallory, Broken Flow, 2020
      Brenda Mallory, Broken Flow, 2020
    • Brenda Mallory, Weaving a Surface (Black), 2021
      Brenda Mallory, Weaving a Surface (Black), 2021
    • Brenda Mallory, Weaving a Surface (Grey), 2021
      Brenda Mallory, Weaving a Surface (Grey), 2021
    • Brenda Mallory, Weaving a Surface (Red), 2021
      Brenda Mallory, Weaving a Surface (Red), 2021
    • Brenda Mallory, Beneath, Behind, Below, 2021
      Brenda Mallory, Beneath, Behind, Below, 2021
  • 'I am drawn to what has been discarded, left over, deemed without worth. The idea of 'making do' with what... 'I am drawn to what has been discarded, left over, deemed without worth. The idea of 'making do' with what...

    "I am drawn to what has been discarded, left over, deemed without worth.  The idea of "making do" with what you have informs my work on a very basic material level, but also represents the way people and cultures survive in the face of hardships and deprivations. 

     

    Oftentimes a process creates an unexpected material. A by-product of unraveling the ends of discarded firehoses to so they would have a fringed edge was these beautiful strands of linen.  I used those strands to create monotype prints."

     

    — Brenda Mallory

  • "To Make Whole" - Brenda in the studio from Brenda Mallory on Vimeo.

  • "I love seeing the evidence of an object's history — the emphasized repairs, mends, and connections that turn bits and pieces into a whole."

     

    Brenda Mallory

  • 'Brenda has helped me build connections within the contemporary art world, as well as build business skills as an independent...

    "Brenda has helped me build connections within the contemporary art world, as well as build business skills as an independent artist. The time at Crow's Shadow was one of the only times we got to work together in-person, which allowed us both to be experimental alongside each other."

     

    — Lehuauakea

  • About Lehuauakea About Lehuauakea About Lehuauakea About Lehuauakea

    About Lehuauakea

    Lehuauakea is a māhū mixed-Native Hawaiian interdisciplinary artist and kapa maker from Pāpaʻikou on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Lehua’s Kānaka Maoli family descends from several lineages connected to Maui, Kauaʻi, Kohala, and Hāmākua where their family resides to this day.

    Through a range of craft-based media, their art serves as a means of exploring cultural and biological ecologies, spectrums of Indigeneity, and what it means to live within the context of contemporary environmental degradation. With a particular focus on the labor-intensive making of ʻohe kāpala (carved bamboo printing tools), kapa (bark cloth), and natural pigments, Lehua is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. Through these acts of resilience that help forge deeper relationships with ʻāina, this mode of Indigenous storytelling is carried well into the future.
    They have participated in several solo and group shows around the Pacific Ocean, and recently opened their first curatorial research project, DISplace, at the Five Oaks Museum in Portland, Oregon. The artist is currently based between the Pacific Northwest and Pāpaʻikou after earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with a minor in Art + Ecology at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

     

    Contact: lehuauakea@gmail.com / IG @_lehuauakea_

  • About Brenda Mallory About Brenda Mallory About Brenda Mallory

    About Brenda Mallory

    Texture and repeated rhythmic forms are instrumental to Brenda Mallory’s abstract compositions and installations. She uses reclaimed materials sewn together with crude hardware or mechanical devices in ways that imply tenuous connections and aberrations. She is interested in ideas of interference and disruption of long-established systems in nature and human cultures.

    Brenda Mallory lives in Portland, Oregon but grew up in Oklahoma and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She received a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA and a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.  Mallory has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council.  Awards include the Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Native Art Fellowship, Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship, and Ucross Native Fellowship. Residencies include GLEAN, Crow’s Shadow, Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency, Signal Fire, c3:initiative Papermaking, and Bullseye Glass.

     

    Contact: brenda@brendamallory.com / IG @brenmallory