In 2014, Kōkua Kalihi Valley began a process to develop a new framework of health that accommodates the full spectrum of strengths, challenges, desires, and needs of the community. Through careful and continual listening and engagement, a more universal view of health and wellness is emerging centered around what matters to indigenous and island people. This view, named Pilinahā, looks at four vital connections that people seek in their lives.
This artwork was created by ʻŌiwi artist Haley Kailiehu as a response to the Pilinahā framework of four connections.
Here is her artist statement about the piece:
THE FOUR CONNECTIONS
SELF: I see self as the central design, the moon, the circles and the weaving. As I looked at it more and more it reminded me of something Kumu Kapa Olivera shared with me a few years back when I did the illustrations for her book on Hawaiian geography. She explained to me at the time that in our way of relating to everything around us, we have to almost imagine these large circles radiating out of our piko, out of us, and all around us. The way I interpreted her manaʻo was that we have to be able to connect to things that are way below our feet, way above our heads, and far in front of and behind us.
OTHERS: I see that others are intrinsically a part of the central circular design. There is no separation between the two. This is one thing that I remember in all of our stories, no matter what, we always talked about ourself and others.
PAST & FUTURE: I have the deep darker color towards the bottom of the composition. It represent pō and references the Kumulipo. That is where the weave begins, that is where creation begins. The weave is what holds every being together. I also like to think that as far back as we can see in to our past is as far forward we can see in to our future. And that action of remembering requires understanding the intricacies of the individual fibers/strands that are used to weave that mat.
PLACE: I have a greenish color in the upper part of the composition to refer to aina and everything above our beautiful ocean. The horizontal lines are the different lewas, or atmospheric strata. And of course, the darker blue in the bottom half of the composition refers to the ocean.
You can see a mahina pattern in the far background which for me I like to have present to symbolize continuity. Our mahina will always be there, everyday for us, no matter what. She was there well before our time and will be there long after.
-- Haley Kailiehu