Volcano Art Center Featured Artists

Sarah Taylor Ko

“Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, there I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1994, from Calvin College. I moved to the Big Island in 2005. It has taken a few years for Hawai`i to sink in visually, and to discover how to convey the awe and uniqueness to be found in nature throughout Hawai`i. I have been painting in acrylics for the last 15 years, but recently discovered encaustic. Much of my recent work is in this fascinating medium, and I am so excited about its luminescent and textural possibilities. Painting with encaustic is a process not unlike the volcano itself, building up in rich layers. Painting leaves and fish is like excavating bright fossils as I scrape through the wax.
Besides painting, much of my time is spent home schooling my children, I also have an interest in making paper and books, quilting, printmaking, indigenous plants, and sustainable gardening.
“Decreation” is the word Jewish philosopher and mystic Simone Weil originated to describe the process of willingly returning energy to God through enduring fatigue and suffering. “We have to die,” she wrote, “in order to liberate tied up energy, in order to possess an energy which is free and capable of understanding the true relationship of things.” Only through decreation, she thought, could we discover joy. These paintings address symbolically not the absence of fragmentation or decay but a perspective which does not see this state as negative. Their tattered essence speaks to our own brokenness and its potential for unexpected joy and beauty.”