Amber Bonnici’s healing art

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<p>Amber Bonnici stands beside her painting titled “Diva Dawn” in her Waimea home as she prepares for her upcoming art show, “The Legend of Amber DivaDawn: A Feminine Perspective of Healing and Self Discovery Through Art.” (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>Artist Amber Bonnici holds one of her paintings, titled “She Trusts Her Inner Dream,” in her Waimea home, which is filled with her art that will be on display at Firehouse Galley until Aug. 31. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>Amber Bonnici stands beside one of her many paintings that fill her Waimea home as she prepares for her upcoming art show, “The Legend of Amber DivaDawn: A Feminine Perspective of Healing and Self Discovery Through Art.” (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>Artist Amber Bonnici works from in her studio at her home in Waimea. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Amber DivaDawn Bonnici believes everyone can connect through art. A new series of her work, entitled “The Legend of Amber DivaDawn: A Feminine Perspective of Healing and Self Discovery Through Art,” is now exhibited at Waimea’s Firehouse Gallery until Aug. 31. Bonnici said the artwork — and her life — is about transformation.

“What I’d like most is for people to come and have their own healing experience, to find something inside them,” Bonnici said.

Jane Sibbet, who directed the provocative piece “The Vagina Monologues” held at Kahilu Theatre in February, said she was thrilled to have Bonnici’s artwork grace the lobby walls during the event.

“Amber’s art is a rich and sensual celebration of the divine feminine which has birthed us all,” Sibbet said. “It was the perfect touch — going in and out of the emotional landscape of our show. I’m forever grateful and inspired she’s living her art.”

“Part of the reason I started painting,” Bonnici said, “is because I lost myself as a new mom. In our culture we have all kinds of expectations for mothers; to keep the house clean, the kids happy, and be able to do it all. Through the painting process, I learned to flow instead of push. I learned I wasn’t perfect. It was self-discovery and transformational work for me.”

Bonnici’s artwork is currently part of an international project, “Women’s Rights — An Artists Perspective. She has also been part of the United Nations “Soul Fire Collection” in New York, featuring 42 women artists from around the world. In addition, her work has won numerous awards, including first place and People’s Choice Award at the Helen B. Cassidy Memorial Art Show, sponsored by the Waimea Arts Council.

All of this is amazing, considering the fact that Bonnici has been painting for only three years now. Her mentor and teacher, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, said Bonnici has always been one of her prime students because of her skill, her understanding of intentional creativity, and her willingness to share it with others through her own classes.

“Amber is a gifted mind and heart — her sense of the sacred combined with the day to day makes creativity possible for women who wouldn’t even consider themselves as creatives, let alone artists,” McCloud said.

Sibbet added, “Her artwork calls to both women and men alike to dive into our most succulent colors of life-giving forces and often layers her work with provocative quotes, encouraging deeper knowing.”

In addition to painting, Bonnici is a writer, dancer, teacher and healer. She holds healing retreats, women’s workshops and teaches Nia, all while raising two young children. She created DivaDawn Design, a company that assists women “live their inner knowing by offering art, writing, movement, education and support in order to bring healing and inspiration.”

“On August 19th, I’m holding a telesummit for mothers on radiantmama.com called ‘Learn how to ignite your passion and purpose to create a life you love,’” Bonnici said. “It’s all happening at the same time.”

Bonnici said art is for everyone, and that all of us are creative, whether it is through gardening, dance, art, or music.

“It’s letting go of control and surrendering, instead of trying to manipulate things,” said Bonnici. “Art has taught me that it’s about letting things happen.

A reception to honor Amber Bonnici will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Firehouse Gallery. Opening hours at the gallery are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturdays. For more information, call 887-1052, visit www.waimeaartscouncil.org or www.amberbonnici.com.