Rosie Connelly is a Honolulu-based photographer and print-maker who creates alternative hybrid landscapes through photomontages.
I met artist Rosie Connelly at a mutual friendʻs birthday party and connected over her art! I am so excited to feature her informed pieces that raise awareness about conservation. Although she often plays the role of a tourist on Hawaiʻi film sets, Rosie Connelly is a local artist who also teaches in the area. Her pieces, Invasive/Native and Twisted by Fire are truly inspiring and beautiful. I hope you enjoy viewing them, and learning about the artist, just as much as I do! <3
Rosie Connelly – Biography
Rosie Connelly was raised in Hawai‘i since the age of four. She currently works out of Honolulu. Connelly recently graduated with a BFA in Art from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2021. Connelly received her AA in Liberal Arts from the University of Hawai‘i, Kapi‘olani Community College in 2018. She is currently an Elementary Art Teacher and Special Education Assistant. Connelly is also the Printmaking Lab Supervisor at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she oversees the screen/press studios and assists students with coursework.
Recent exhibitions include Thanks… Volunteerism and Community Printmaking in Honolulu (2021/2022), Honolulu Printmakers 2021 Annual Exhibition (2021), ‘Ekahi, ‘Elua (2021), UHM BFA 2021 (2021), OF THE EARTH (2021) and Artist’s Vision 2021 (2021). Connelly is the recipient of the Pegge Hopper Award for Excellence, awarded in the Honolulu Printmakers 2021 Annual Exhibition. She has also received numerous undergraduate awards and scholarships including the John Young Scholarship in the Arts (2020 and 2021), the CASAA Academic Opportunity Award (2021), and the Richard H. and Mildred D. Kosaki Student Assistance Award (2021).
Rosie Connelly – Artist Statement
My work draws equally from analog and digital processes in photography and printmaking. I envision my work as alternative hybrid landscapes that are inspired by, and move fluidly between, built/natural environments and cyberspace. These tangible and intangible spaces are visually filtered and manipulated through digital glitches and ink anomalies. By embracing “mistakes” and highlighting imperfections, I bring the viewer into a world of textures and mishaps. I balance my personal observations and experiences with data and statistical research. The collected information is organized into documentary photomontages which are ultimately expressed in traditional means.
Invasive/Native explores the dichotomy between native and invasive species of Hawai‘i. The Melaleuca quinquenervia or paperbark tree is native to Australia and was first introduced to Hawai‘i by the Division of Forestry in 1917. The species was introduced to combat erosion on mountainsides, which has resulted in the healthy growth and dispersal of native species. The paperbark tree is now considered to be invasive and is being removed by the Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources. This project seeks to raise awareness for the Melaleuca quinquenervia, addressing the ethical dilemma of eliminating one species in favor of another. Invasive/Native raises the following questions: What will happen to the land and surrounding species once these trees are killed off? What are the consequences of removing these trees from an area in which they served and continue to serve a vital purpose? Will the land become unstable?
poly-plate lithograph, screenprint on BFK Rives paper, canson paper wrapped cardboard covers
9” x 36”
Twisted by Fire
The ‘ōhi‘a lehua is endemic to the Hawaiian islands and comprises approximately 80% of Hawaiʻi’s native forests. ‘Ōhi‘a can grow in rugged and barren environments. The ‘Ōhi‘a is typically the first species to grow from the ground of a recent lava flow. Ōhi‘a trees were used for many purposes by the Native Hawaiians. For example, its wood was used to create boards for pounding poi and its flowers were used for medicinal purposes such as relieving pain. ‘Ōhi‘a is commonly found along popular hiking trails such as the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail on the island of Oʻahu. Twisted by Fire pays homage to this incredible species. The first two prints in the triptych follow the legend of ‘ōhi‘a lehua which tells a grand tale of love and loss involving three central characters: ‘Ōhi‘a (a warrior), Lehua (a beautiful young woman) and Pele (the goddess of volcanoes, fire and lightning). The legend details the origin of the ‘ōhi‘a tree. The third print addresses the issue of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) and what we can do to help prevent the spread of this disease. ROD refers to the fungi which are responsible for the death of ‘Ōhi‘a throughout the islands. ROD is currently present on the islands of Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i and formally present on the island of Maui. There is currently no cure for ROD.
screenprint, watercolor on BFK Rives paper, acetate
15” x 20”