Kapoho Bay Tide Pools

Big Island, Hawai’i, USA

Lava Flow 2018

The Disappointed Tourist: Kapoho Bay Tide Pools, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Kapoho Bay Tide pools were a popular snorkeling destination on Hawai’i’s Big Island. The tide pools and the coral reef were protected, and the official name of this area was the Wai’opae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District. They were covered by lava flow, along with the entire adjacent community of Vacationland, in 2018. This painting is based on a photograph from the Labroots website that was originally published in the Guardian.

The fact that it was consumed in a fiery deluge kind of says it all. And maybe it’s a lesson — sometimes the old spaces have to be destroyed to make new land; one day that will be a beautiful sandy beach. Andy G.