At the beginning of ranching, forests were cleared on the southwestern slopes of Haleakalā. The clearing of native plants resulted in a clearing of the skies. It was the trees and shrubs of the forest whose release of moisture nourished the Naulu clouds. The Naulu cloud bridge once stretched between Maui and Kahoʻolawe. The clouds can still be seen, but no longer have the same strength they had years ago.
Thanks to the staff and volunteers of the Leeward Haleakalā Restoration Partnership, the Naulu have been rebuilding their power. As the reintroduced native plants thrive, they hold water in the ground, and also liberate it back into the air, thus shaping the clouds that are able to carry the gentle mist to the thirsty earth.
Some of the forms in this piece are influenced by the unnatural lines of man, particularly the barbwire fences once built to enclose cattle, which now form protective enclosures for restoration projects. The clouds hold the sh...
In 2010 Viewpoints Gallery chose to feature kapa in their annual invitational show, Celebration of Hawaiʻi. Denby was honored to be featured with several other kapa artists. The show included panel discussions and workshops for the public. Providing opportunity for others to learn the art of kapa.
I had the privilege of going to Kahoʻolawe with the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana last March. During our stay we camped at their site at Hakioawa. “Hakioawa Stream-bed” depicts one of two streambeds that meet the ocean at Hakioawa bay.
I made this kapa specifically to be dyed in the dirt of Kahoʻolawe. A cross section of a Kiawe branch was used to print the streambed with dye from the Kukui tree. The Kiawe and the Kukui together resemble the strength and hope on Kahoʻolawe that one day the rains will return and the streams will flow again.
The kapa hangs on a Kiawe branch. Kiawe is commonly found along stream-beds and the current landscape of Hakioawa. The shadows cast by the Kiawe branch are reminiscent of times in hot, dry areas like Kahoʻolawe that the shade of a thorny Kiawe tree provides great relief from the fierce sun.