Stories From the Summit: Moving On

Kilauea Eruption

It was an honor to be one of the storytellers at the Volcano Art Center at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, ‘Stories from the Summit: Moving On‘. The program was about personal accounts of the 2018 Kilauea Eruption. I shared my story of how my art evolved while being displaced and how art helped me heal.

It was an honor to share my personal experience with such a captive audience, including Leilani and Volcano residents, and scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and The United States Geological Survey agency. Every presenter had such different experiences of living on an active volcano, it was a privilege to hear so many personal accounts. For myself, it was also another step for healing and processing.

What I shared was about the my work and style before the eruption, the days leading up the eruption, evacuation, and then over the next 70 days sought refuge in the homes of friends and family where my DISPLACED series began.

Due to the emotional and physical impact of the eruption my artistic style sharply shifted from impressionistic to abstract expressionism in order to properly convey the nuance of this experience. As time passed I developed a visual mark-making language that helped guide my process: bold marks of color translating as a mass of new earth, small hatches resemble the many earthquakes experienced, opacity of new marks covering old give a history of what once existed. I was able to convey this with a visual reference of my work’s evolution in a 35-slide presentation.

Hawai’i Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-charge, Tina Neal and Hawaii Artist Bailey Ferguson at Hawaii Volcano Art Center's 'Stories from the Summit'

Certainly the best part of this night, was the opportunity to share my work with Tina Neal. Tina is the Hawai’i Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge, she was THE woman on TV and Social Media giving updates to our community during the eruption. It was an honor to meet her, I gave her a print of “Kīlauea Rising”.

It was such a pleasure being able to share my work and experience, I would be happy to give this presentation again, please contact me if you are interested.