Back in 2014, both artists united forces to paint a big mural in Little Haiti that helped kick off the Anywhere Aloha campaign for Olukai. This year they got together again to paint the first mural for Dredge Arts, a public art project on the historic Miami River in Downtown Miami, started by Tati, her husband David Iglesias and her friend Nicholas Platzer.
Tati and Kamea in action.
"It was important for me to paint this mural by a body of water, since the ocean heavily influences both our cultures. I’m excited because it allows us to distinguish ourselves and extend outreach outside of Wynwood. It’s important for me as a local artist to encourage people to explore these overlooked but vital parts of Miami." explains Tati.
The mural depicts two women, alluding to nymphs or perhaps spirits that inhabit the river. Both the subjects wear a Haku Lei composed of native tropical flora found in Hawaii, Miami, and Brazil.
The flower between the two women represents a tale from Brazilian mythology called “The Legend of Victoria Regia”. The legend is about a young girl called Naia who was part of an Indian tribe in the margins of the Amazonian river.
Naia and her friends wanted to touch the moon, because they believed that by touching it they would become one of the stars. They were disappointed after multiple attempts of climbing on trees, try to grab the moon and failing. One night Naia decided to fulfill her dream and took the river trails to stare at the water. There was a full moon that night, which was perfectly reflected on the water’s surface.
She dove into the deep river waters to try and touch the moon but as she fell in she was never able to emerge. The moon felt pity for the young girl’s death and decided to transform Naia into a Victoria Regia, a giant flower that blooms at night to receive the light of the moon.
This legend is the story behind this mural, which makes this mural a memorial piece for Tatiana Suarez’ cousin who past away in August from a drowning accident. Suarez also explains that this mural has great personal value, but that after all of this year’s challenges she is “stoked to wrap up the year painting it alongside a friend who introduced me to what it means to live with Aloha.”
The depiction of these two water nymphs suggest how duality has so much significance, relevant traits and qualities that play an important role in life. Duality is not only about contrast, but also harmony, balance and coexistence.