You may recognize Brandy Serikaku from our Anywhere Aloha story, The Creatives, where she met with Jhesika Menes and traveled from the Big Easy to the Big Island to share in and experience the distinct but surprisingly unique cultures in the two communities.
We now join Brandy again on the Big Island, to share in her latest project: A mural in downtown Hilo, in collaboration with Temple Children.
Temple Children's mission is to strengthen and bridge communities by embracing individuality and activating conversation and collaboration. They connect and support like-minded people seeking positive social and environmental change with each project they create, and this one is no different. Brandy's mural is one of six that will be completed this week, with artists from California, New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii coming together to share their talents and embrace the creative energy of each other and the community they are visiting.
Although this is Brandy's first mural project, the inspiration behind it comes from a lifetime of learning about, exploring, loving, and embracing Hawaiian culture:
Raised in Hilo, Brandy has been dancing hula for 27 years for Halau O Ka Ua Kanilehua - a commitment that has inspired a love of the Hawaiian culture and language. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Currently the Art Director of Sig Zane Kaiao, Brandy has been designing for over 8 years and her pen illustrations and ink paintings have come to life through her recent designs for Salt Liko. Brandy always finds time to enjoy life, through surfing, traveling, adventuring with her daughters, working in the ʻāina, and drawing.
It is no wonder that the inspiration for her mural comes from the natural world, and specifically, the landscape of the Big Island:
"I want to focus on the lehua and bring awareness to rapid ohiʻa death and caring for our native forests. I thought of Kanilehua, which is the famous rain of Hilo and also the name of the hālau hula I dance for. The lehua trees attract the clouds that bring in the rain. When you look at the meaning of Kanilehua, kani means sound and lehua is the tree. When the rain hits the leaves, the pitter and patter can be heard. We can imagine Hilo having so many lehua trees that when it rained, they heard the lehua! It will reflect the rain and the lehua, and may become an abstract print.”