My dear friend Nikko Marott started folding cranes a couple of months ago, as a form of loving-kindness meditation. With each origami piece he sent out a prayer for all beings to be at peace and be free from pain. I love origami myself and of course I love color and design. So I got the idea of surprising Nikko with a pile of big origami papers that were printed with my Hawaiian Kapa linoleum blocks. This turned out to be enormously fun, since as the paper folds against itself numerous new and unexpected design combinations emerge, much like a kaleidoscope. Each bird became a one-person, one-time-only art experience, unpredictable, and never to be repeated.
Soon the house was filled with cranes, and Nikko made me laugh by making up stories about the crane invasion and lining them up in different arrangements. This project turned into a 1000 Crane installation at the Wailoa Art Center this month, as a part of the group show I'm in called "The Nature of Things," available to view until July 28.
Nikko is now in Hilo Medical Center with badly metastasized cancer, and he may or may not survive much longer. The wonderful thing is that he had, in his typical way, an idea to help other people by making the cranes a fundraiser for the Hospice of Hilo. Each strand of cranes is available for purchase and represents a donation to this very worthy organization. When the Wailoa show comes down, the cranes will be available at the gallery.