Deanna Gabiga & Michelle Schwengel-Regala
Fiber and Colored Copper Wire
From the perspective of our common interests, exploring the natural environment and cultural history of Hawai’i, INVASIVES intertwines the tales of multiple species, people, and the results of their interactions.
Deanna’s wire crocheted Philodendron vines show the intrusive effects of intimate living conditions between nature and people in Hawai’i. The non-native, naturalized, but aggressive Philodendron shows the movement of people to Hawai’i while Michelle’s knitted textiles show how that encroachment has changed much of the natural ecosystem. The ecological history of Hawai’i is a story of continual invasion. How much longer will the kāhuli endure?
Invasive. Endemic. Naturalized. All are words describing florae and its relationship to its environment, some descriptions I’ve begun to see in myself. Being yet another non-native, introduced entity here in Hawai’i, I am warmly welcomed by so very many, yet I am one of too many. O’ahu is overcrowded, it is unsustainable.
Combining wire and fiber using textile techniques, it is as flexible as my ever transforming life. Blending the soft with the hard, the feminine with the masculine, allows me to play with these extremes and create in-betweens. My botanical sculpture work is a comfortable medium in which to start difficult dialogues.
My reason for coming to this beautiful paradise is due to an organization that could be classified as an invasive, noxious species, yet it bears the sweet fruit of jobs and security.
How will my life impact Hawai’i and those who live here? Will I be that noxious weed?
Or can I become naturalized like the philodendron? A non-native, but only mildly invasive?