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Kona kai

Artist: Laura Haddad

We had the pleasure of collaborating with artist Laura Haddad on the installation of her artwork piece at the Kona Kai resort located on San Diego’s Shelter Island. Haddad’s design-intent was inspired by the waterfront setting, colors of the surrounding area, and myths about sea creatures who are said to protect and shelter humans while also tempting and luring them to shore, not unlike the function of an island resort. “Kona Kai” translates from Hawaiian into the English, “Lady of the Sea.”

The artwork loosely interprets the “lady” as a mermaid and pairs her with the legend of Kamoahoali’li, a guardian and protector of the Hawaiian Islands who takes the form of a shark. These creatures have universal recognition and appeal, in addition to the art storyline that connects them to Kona Kai.

The artwork consists of a section of boardwalk paving that portrays water currents, waves, winds, swells, and ripples in an abstract line pattern. The pattern is a modern interpretation of traditional line drawings of Japan, the culture of which has long inspired Hawaiian culture and aesthetics. Nestled into the “water lines” are line drawings of a mermaid, the Lady of the Sea, and Kamoahoali’li, the protector shark. This was all created out of laser-cut marine-grade stainless steel.

Once the art-piece was set in place, we poured Lithocrete around it and embedded colored glass that transitioned from teal-aquamarine at the edges, or “shores,” to deep ultramarine at its center, or “deeps.” We then further accentuated the Lithocrete by applying our Concrete Coloration System.