Cash Crop (48x72)
Oil on linen, 2016
48 in x 72 in
white 1/4 in panel framing, ready to hang
The painting references Hawaii’s last operating sugar mill on the island of Maui which closed in 2016, ending more than one hundred years of sugar cultivation on the island. The work is part of the Agents of Change series which explores the living and non-living catalysts of change in the Hawaiian Islands--in this case, the sugar industry. The network of sugar mills across Maui transformed tens of thousands of acres thereby obliterating native ecosystems and the resident endemic plants and animals dependent upon these natural areas, species Chimera herself spent decades protecting as a conservation manager. Specifically, the Pu`u Nene mill also brought Chimera’s Filipino grandparents to Hawai`i, field laborers among the thousands of immigrants from Asia and Europe. The painting is a testament to industry’s role in transforming Hawaii’s environment and social fabric in the world’s most isolated archipelago.