Immersive art experience The Awakening opens at the Honolulu Museum of Art
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Immersive art experience The Awakening opens at the Honolulu Museum of Art
Rebecca Louise Law, Life in Death. Photo by Charles Emerson.

HONOLULU.- Hawai’i's deep connection to pua—both endemic and imported flowers—will be celebrated in a year-long art installation that will transform two Honolulu Museum of Art galleries into immersive floral experiences starting Sept. 22, 2022.

The Awakening marks the debut of renowned British artist Rebecca Louise Law in Hawai’i. Law has garnered international acclaim for her elegant and immersive installations of strung flowers, leaves, shells and other organic materials.

The artist says she strives to give each hanging blossom in her massive floral assemblages as much value as a drop of paint, but with one significant difference—the viewer is invited to walk through her “canvases” and lose themselves in her hanging gardens.

The installation, on view through Sept. 10, 2023, will reflect the region's unique eco-system and landscape, according to HoMA Director Halona Norton-Westbrook.

"What is so special about Law's work is that it pulls its material from its surroundings, and in the process her installations really respect and celebrate the places where they appear," Norton-Westbrook said. "Her work is awe-inspiring and we're so excited to bring this wonder and joy to our HoMA audience."

Law will lead teams of individuals and community group volunteers in gathering materials and assembling floral installations based on her creative and imaginative designs. Two of the museum's upper-level galleries will be transformed with treasured elements from Law's own collection, spanning nearly two decades, combined with flower petals, leaves, branches and other organic material sourced on the island of O‘ahu.

Law invites community members to participate in the creation of local installations so that they can together investigate the complexity of humanity's connection to nature and instill a deeper appreciation for it. Sustainability is an important theme in the artist's work—she reuses the preserved flowers that are her signature—and she hopes that the slow and steady process of not only assembling the work of art but also seeing it on view will help viewers consider their relationship to the "too easy and too fast" nature of consumerism.

In conjunction and conversation with Law's exhibition, HoMA will activate featured floral artworks from the museum's own collection, showcasing iconic works, such as paintings from Holland's 17th century Golden Age and Japanese screen prints, as well as artworks by past and current Hawai‘i-based artists.

In recent years, Law has exhibited at the Skovgaard Museum in Denmark, the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, Galerie Stihl in Germany and the Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Michigan. Prior to her arrival at HoMA, she will be exhibiting at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Florida.

"Her work offers a refuge, a physical space that removes us from the chaos of our everyday lives and allows us to contemplate," said HoMA Director of Curatorial Affairs Catherine Whitney. "For HoMA, it also affirms our commitment to making art an important part of each stage of our lives, one that is accessible to our entire community."

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