Hawaii Forgiveness Project

Images of Forgiveness Awards
Winning Entries, 2008

presented at
International Forgiveness Day in Hawai'i
August 3, 2008

Gold Medal:

"Death of a Warrior"
clay sculpture
J Forest Ocean Bennett

One of the 'Spirit Form' series of sculptures, "Death Of A Warrior" has personal significance to me. It came as part of the series of work I did under a particularly stressful time -- the letting go of sadness, hate, fear, my job, my career, my house, my possessions....I needed to forgive the Intelligence of the Universe for 'letting this happen to me'.

Sometimes we get so used to feeling this unhealthy state of being -- however justified it may seem -- so much that it seems like an old friend we hate to let go of.... meaning letting it die, a painful process to be sure. So the 'Warrior' in each of us may pass through this time feeling much like this piece expresses.

J Forest Ocean Bennett

Silver Medal:

"Mo'olelo for Ke Anuenue"
canvas giclee print
Pearl Pualani Ling

Mo'olelo means story or history.The pictures tell a story, a history of a spiritual event and/or a worldly process. Petroglyphs tell the story and define the mo'olelo in each picture. Drawn primarily on 'a'aniu or coconut fiber the mana comes from where the tree has grown. Like the fiber that wraps around the trunk of the tree, supporting the frond like a brace, so do the mo'olelo support and strengthen the observer by creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Mo'olelo are depicted as blessings both in the literary and artwork.

The gist of the piece:

This is the mo'olelo for Ke Anuenue, the rainbow. The blessing is as follows: The rainbow comes forward for it is a symbol of hope. It shows when things have ended and new hope and new life and new things are beginning. It is never-ending.

The rainbow soars among the ancestors in the center of God from the mountains to the ocean in this place. It represents the beginning and the transformation and the change from one end of the rainbow to the next. The ancestors walk us. It is the pathway from heaven of the ancestors. It is the pathway of God, it is the message of God. That is the mo'olelo for Ke Anuenue.

The process of forgiveness signifies the ending of one thing and the hope of a new beginning. Like the significance of the rainbow, one walks the path to get to the other side. This creates the transformation in the event that requires forgiveness of self and others. The rainbow reminds me that we never walk alone; our ancestors and God walks with us through the change.

Pearl Pualani Ling

Bronze Medal:

"Mending Heart"
hand appliqued quilt
Elizabeth Kent

Originally I called my piece "Stop Hurting Me" and the image was based on a heart that was broken in two.  I made it to symbolize the pain of child abuse and domestic violence.  In my "day job" I work on issues related to abuse and working on this piece was a personal way to address some of my feelings and to channel them into something more positive.

I showed the piece to Alfred Herrera, the President of The Childrens' Alliance of Hawaii, a non-profit that helps child victims of abuse.  He wanted to buy the piece, but only if I was willing to change it from a breaking heart to a mending heart!  I loved the idea because it is about resiliency and is more positive than what I originally set out to create.  So, this past weekend I set out to make the change, and then saw the message about the forgiveness art show.  Alfred and I spoke, and we both think it is seredipity that the two events occurred on the heels of one another.

What does forgiveness mean?  It is so personal.  When are we ready to move from a breaking heart to a mending heart?  I hope this piece makes people think about it, and look into their hearts.

Special Recognition:

"New beginning"
digital photo

Husamuddin Akhras

Winners and Nominees: Video

a short animation of all entries
to the "Images of Forgiveness" category in 2008;
music by Jake Shimabukuro;
thanks to all!


© copyright 2008, Hawai'i Forgiveness Project
and by each individual artist