The Leaping Place & A Collection
Main Gallery: Matt Shallenberger: The Leaping Place
Makai Gallery: Jim Rhodes: A Collection
The East Hawaii Cultural Center is pleased to present The Leaping Place, a collection of large format landscape photographs by Matt Shallenberger, made on the Big Island of Hawai’i between 2014 and 2018 exhibited in the Main gallery.
Says Shallenberger, “In ancient Hawaiian mythology, the souls of the dead detach from their bodies and wander among the living, unseen. Guided by deceased ancestors and guardian gods, they search for places from which they may travel to the underworld, commune with ancestors, explore the many-leveled ghost worlds, or return to the dim past from which all life sprang up. These pathways take many forms: cliffs, trees, forest clearings, and more. They are called leaping places.
“The photographs in this series tell two ghost stories: First, of my ancestors, who immigrated to Hawaii a century before I was born there. Second, the photos illustrate the Kumulipo, the ancient Hawaiian creation chant – a memorized poem of more than 2000 lines that tells myths of the earliest beginnings of the Hawaiian people. The titles of the images, and the scenes depicted, are drawn from its pages.
“Beneath the stories of gods and men, the chant-teller buried kaonas – secret metaphors that connected the passages. The leaping place idea is one of those secrets, offering pathways not only between life and death, but history and myth, fact and fiction, and memory and imagination. These are the places where we step not only into our own past, but each other’s.”
In the Makai gallery, Jim Rhodes, a friend to so many in the arts, passed away on April 11, 2019. Jim had an uncanny ability to see the magic in cast off materials. In September EHCC offers a window into the artist's studio, to the materials that inspired his works.
Both exhibitions open on First Friday September 6th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at EHCC’s gallery in downtown Hilo.
This event is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesday- Saturday.