“Mana” remembers and honors tree

"Mana" by Emily Patacsil

“Mana” by Emily Patacsil (click to view full-sized image).

This artwork was created by UHM art student Emily Patacsil. It is placed on what is left of a tree cut down on the campus about a month ago. The layer of wood that remains shows no sign of disease or insect damage, so why the tree was cut down is a mystery.

Emily’s response to the tree and her desire to place her art there speak powerfully about the bonds between humans and trees:

It was created for one of my glass class assignments. I wanted to see if I could “grow” a glass tree in one of our kilns. The glass pieces did not end up the way I expected and they resembled meat on meat hooks rather than trees. I had felt that a gallery setting, with only the glass was not appropriate. I was reminded of the tree that was recently cut down and felt that my piece needed to be installed there. Once installed the glass not only reminded me of meat on hooks, but also spirits leaving the remaining stump of the tree. This is where the title “Mana” came from. Mana meaning the power or essence of something in Hawaiian. I felt like the mana of the tree was still there even if it was cut down to a stump.

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2 thoughts on ““Mana” remembers and honors tree

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is yet again shocking to see the violence done to this tree. I wish I could see the glass pieces in person, but I am touched by the idea of Mana, the notion of the spirits of the tree leaving it.

    • Thanks for the comment, Adele. Yes, it was shocking what was done to the tree. It had a nice, friendly feeling to it. Heartbreaking to see it lying on the ground in pieces. Sonia, our associate editor, said while walking by it that a piece looked like the leg of an elephant. Indeed it did.

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