The first concrete sign of Hawai‘i Art Now was Eli Baxter installing her work Ascension on the staircase leading to the Art of Hawai‘i Gallery last week. She ingeniously inserted her trademark material—recycled bicycle inner tubes— into the puka clusters in the wall. The result are these at once menacing and inviting black blooms.

Tonight at 7pm members get a first gander at this and more than 50 other works at the opening reception for Hawai‘i Art Now.

Here is Eli’s artist’s statement about her installation, which is part of her ongoing series The Garden Stories:

“Through interweaving and juxtaposing manmade recycled media and detritus with highly suggestive organic forms, I am continuing my ongoing exploration and inquiry into the relationship and interaction between human beings and the natural world. This relationship is complex and multifaceted, both positive and negative. Themes of worship and cultivation are mixed with domination and control, disintegration and destruction. The artistic process and the media used in this series, suggest additional themes of labor, transformation, and consumption. Architectural or structural elements are also key in The Garden Stories site-specific installations, further highlighting both the physical and psychological relationship between the industrial and the organic.”