‘OHIA LEHUA LEI ALOHA, 1992 (12’ by 16”) Politec and gold acrylic, ceiling mural, private residence, Puako, Hawai’i
Only once thus far did Calley design and paint a ceiling mural.
This design derives from the patrons love of Hawai’i, leis and the beloved blossoms of the ‘ohi’a lehua tree (Metrosideros polymorpha) from the uplands. The ‘ohi’a lehua forms the basis of the lei, along with Kauna’oa (Cuscuta sandwichiana) an unusual, golden ocre colored trailing parasitic vine with leafless stems that range from yellow to yellow-orange from the coastline. Kauna’oa is the flower for the island of Lana’i. In season, it is visually predominant on Mauna Kea Beach on Kaunaoa Bay on the Big Island. Twisted Kauna’oa leis are rare and lovely.
The beautiful I’iwi bird (Vestiaria coccinea) is the focal point of the lei. They are listed as a threatened species, yet they are the most numerous and well known of the Hawaiian honeycreepers. There are no more I’iwi on the island of Lana’i, and they are very rare on Moloka’i and O’ahu.
The I’iwi population is on the decline due to deforestation and loss of habitat, climate change and avian flu. Most of the other Hawaiian honeycreepers are endangered, critically endangered or extinct.Calley was inspired to paint with the simple color harmony predominant in ‘ohi’a lehua, of pinks, soft scarlets, greens and then added the accent of the sun and the kauna’oa in metallic gold.
The patrons had a deep love for the Hawaiian islands and wanted a Lei Aloha to gaze up at night before they went to sleep.