Akokhekoke and the bee
Alelai Our Lady of Oheau
They Bought Religion

Endangered Species

Holly S. Murray
Big Island, Na’Alehu, Hawai’i
Artist in Residence
Red Cinder


It is believed that the Hawaiian Archipelago was created by a single plume of volcanic magma millions of years ago. The Kure Atoll, where the Big Island is now located, has eased back into the water where once it was a vast tall volcano. There are five volcanoes on the Big Island and several still active. If you wander out to the South of the island on beds of hot lava at night, it is possible to see red hot lava spewing into the ocean. There are multiple Hawaiian words for lava in its various states.  Lava is part of the foundation of the island’s ecosystem and culture. One can not be on the Island and not be affected by the vast wild beauty that was created thousands of years ago.
As an artist in residence at Red Cinder on the Southern part of the Big Island, I experienced for a brief time the incredible energy of the ocean and the flora and fauna of the land.

The art work I created on the Island was influenced by the ocean and it’s currents that brought the ancient Polynesians to the Islands hundreds of years ago. As soon as people landed on the Islands there began a slow and then more rapid change to the land and sea. It was the history of endemic and endangered species that fascinated me as well as the many changes that have occurs as humans, particularly after Captain Cook “discovered” Hawai’i in 1779. The Islands became a stop on the cross roads of the Pacific seas for travelers the world over.

Red Cinder has a small but in depth library of Hawaiian history and literature which provided much source material for my work. I experimented with ancient printing patterns in combination with sea swells and current patterns. The indigenous Ohi’a Lehua tree surrounding the mountainous land created more inspiration along with the magnificent bird population.


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