In the winter months I spend a great deal of time on Maui’s shoreline filming the ocean and tide pools when conditions are favorable.
On days when the skies are clear, I head out in the morning and once I am set up, I often film for hours on end, sometimes until sunset. The sound of the ocean crashing and the dynamic nature of the phenomena surrounding me can be overwhelming. When large surf is breaking, a variety of things happen simultaneously, all drawing my attention - creating almost a panic within me. One remote spot I frequent on the north shore involves traversing down a steep cliff with my gear (tripod, camcorder, backpack and sketchbook) to get down to sea level, to the shelf below. After a number of years filming in that location countless times, one day I noticed a large face, formed by erosion, in the cliff wall. Over time, I began to notice more faces, some in the cliff and other 3 dimensional forms arising from the terrain. Eventually I began photographing the formations. A new body of work was germinating that lead to the series I have begun on pōhaku (rock).
I recently completed the first piece in this series - a mixed media triptych titled Nā Kāhu Pōhaku (Rock Guardians) of three of the rock faces. The image above is the first of three faces in the triptych. If you look closely you will see a number of animals throughout the image. One example is the honu (sea turtle) to the lower left of the main face, but there are many more. These lines are in the rock, I made subtle adjustments to draw attention to specific imagery, but I did not add lines to define the main face or creatures, Other than the geometric patterns inspired by traditional Hawaiian Kapa, I worked with what was already there.