19-4074 Old Volcano Road
The Volcano Art Center (VAC) proudly announces a large-scale art installation titled Changing Oceans: Changing Minds by visiting Maori artist and environmental activist, George Tamihana Nuku at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus (19-4074 Old Volcano Rd.) in Volcano Village. VAC invites school and community groups along with the general public of all ages and backgrounds to participate in this island-wide Community Art Project to explore our changing oceans and changing identities due to the proliferation of single-use plastics in our modern world.
Changing Oceans, Changing Minds – open daily, 10 am – 4 pm, from August 26th through September 10th. An opening reception takes place on Friday, August 25 from 4pm – 6 pm in Dietrich Varez Hall. Artist talk to follow.
Through the use of thousands of re-purposed empty plastic bottles and pieces of reused carved transparent plexiglass, the project aims to create a symbolic representation of the island of Hawai`i, surrounded by plastic marine life and sea birds. The participatory aspect is integral to people forming a personal cultural connection with plastic as a material and humanity’s inherent genealogical inter-relationship. The result is participants see themselves reflected in the pollution as a pathway to affecting a resolution. The site-specific, installation directed by Nuku and his team will rely on engagement from local volunteers in a spirit of collaboration, innovation, and exchange. Local participation and engagement in the process of creation allow interconnectedness with the participants, materials, and environment. The resulting artistic creations give value to otherwise often discarded plastics. Nuku feels that if we value our creations, we are unlikely to discard them, thus leaving our environments -including the ocean- healthier and valued.
George Nuku has created over 20 large-scale projects of this nature around the world using plastics, such as styrene and recycled bottles, in his powerful and provocative artwork. The opportunity to present this project in Hawai`i connects his Polynesian heritage to the future of our environment. Nuku will work with our island community to explore the Native Hawaiian and other Polynesian community’s ocean-based identities as they intersect with the changing ocean. Nuku’s philosophy is that we must begin seeing plastics not as garbage, but as valuable, beautiful, and even sacred materials. Says Nuku- “We must transform our relationship with plastic and the environment if we want to preserve our environment.”