Upon completion last year, the mural panels were earmarked to temporarily enclose the Wailuku municipal parking lot construction site as part of our Mana Wahine collaboration that resulted in a collection of three murals. However, due to construction updates and new developments — most notably the future Halau of ‘Oiwi Art and Wailuku Arts District projects — the panels were stored until a specific install site could be secured.
Entitled "Mōhala I ka wai ka maka o ka pua (Unfolded by the water are the faces of the flowers)" and inspired by its namesake ʻōlelo noʻeau, Underwood chose to highlight Wailuku’s integral connection to water and the unique flora that results from it. Highlighted are a diverse range of plants found throughout Moko ‘O Wailuku - wauke, loulu, pohinahina, naupaka, ma’o, and the rare hesperomannia.
"This goes to represent not only the amazing biodiversity found in Wailuku, but also its beautifully diverse community," shares the artist. She continues, "Woven in between these plants are bright blue kalo, as kalo is so intrinsically connected to water and therefore a huge part of Wailuku’s identity. Wailuku is an extremely resilient and special place - home to such rich history, immense natural beauty, extremely special people, and intense mana'o. As Mary Kawena Pukui said in this Olelo No’eau, 'Mōhala I ka wai ka maka o ka pua - flowers thrive where there is water, as thriving people are found where living conditions are good', which I think is the perfect description of Wailuku."
Learn more at the links below:
- Project webpage
- Community consultant highlight reel
- Mana Wahine project documentary
- 2021 unveiling announcement
- "Wahine energy in Wailuku: Maui murals draw from community input" article
- "ST*BA Collaborates with Maui-Grown Artists for Next Public Art Project in Wailuku" article
- Artist website