Big Island artist Henry Bianchini has donated a sculpture entitled “Involuntary Journey” to the Hilo Public Library. It was installed in the atrium on July 5. The aluminum and stainless sculpture stands 85 inches high and 74 inches wide and was featured in Bianchini’ s 40-year retrospective at the East Hawaii Culture Center in 2010.
“The name of the piece means that life is not controllable, rather it is a process. Our dreams and our decisions have a life of their own. Art and the creative process are like that,” said Bianchini.
“For many years,” he said, “I had dreamed of how I could show my gratitude for this nurturing sanctuary, the Hilo Public Library. I am honored to be able to donate this sculpture to Hilo through this library.”
Bianchini’ s connection to the library goes back to 1974, when he had his first one-man show in the big front room exhibiting 10 of his early paintings. He studied art from the library collection, looking for a way to find a modern equivalent to ancient Hawaiian sculpture.
“I found that much of the Hawaiian sculpture had been destroyed in the early takeover of the monarchy but what was left did give me insight into how advanced the Hawaiians were culturally,” he said.
Bianchini was impressed with the richness of the library’s collection in both Western modernism and Eastern art. “This was a very big discovery for me” said the artist, “to find how strong the Eastern culture is here in Hawaii and how much it has affected how I see the world through my art.”
Bianchini arrived in Hilo in August 1969 with his wife, Dianne, and son Theo on a self-built, 30-foot trimaran named “Island Dancer.” He leased a small parcel of land in Opihikao in Puna, where his children, Frank and Allegra, were born and where he built his first art studio and began painting and carving Hawaiian woods in 1972. To see more of his work you may visit his website at www.henrybianchiniart.com.
Bianchini has donated the sculpture and the installation free of charge. The Friends of the Hilo Public Library provided funding for the bronze plaque which will be attached to the piece.
The Friends were first formed in the mid 1960s to raise funds for the library primarily through book sales. Over the years they have provided funding for children’s summer reading programs, adult, reference and Hawaiiana materials, DVD resurfacing, computer software, Christmas decorations and many other projects that are beyond the state’s limited budget. They have also funded a scholarship for a Big Island student enrolled in the UH-Manoa Master of Library Science Information program for the past eight years.
Please contact the library at 933-8888 to find out how to become a member of the Friends for only $10 per year. Hilo Public Library is at 300 Waianuenue Ave. in Hilo. For a map, please visit www.hilopubliclibrary.org.