Into the Fire

A renowned geological wonder, the Hawaiian archipelago first emerged several million years ago as the product of countless volcanic eruptions forced from within the Earth’s core. Today, most islands in the chain lie dormant, yet there is still one area of geological growth to be found. Located on the “Big Island” of Hawaii and considered the world’s most active volcano, Kīlauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. Throughout this time, it has covered the surrounding landscape with molten lava and threatened the homes of nearby residents. Nowhere has the impact of Kīlauea been felt more severely than in the small community of Kalapana. Despite the constant danger posed by the volcano, Kalapana remains populated today by a small group of residents who are attracted to Kīlauea’s unstable—yet captivating—energy. In the series Into the Fire, Canadian photographer Evan Rensch portrays these eclectic individuals as they negotiate an environment caught between the poles of destruction and renewal. Thematically, the work juxtaposes the complexity of human psychology with the rhythmic pulse of nature, revealing a deeply intertwined—yet highly fraught—relationship.