‘Time and Tide’ by Ken Worpole and Jason Orton
Ken Worpole reflects on Tidal Pools:
There is something mysterious and even disturbing about these pools, located on the border between land and water. There is a muscularity and even brutalism to most structures that engage directly or indirectly with the sea—not just tidal pools but also harbor walls, esplanades, piers, lighthouses, military lookouts and gun emplacements. All such constructions tend to be great works of public engineering, although they possess a distinctive architectural mass and form. For the sea is a powerful force of nature, and while the daily tides can bring pleasure and replenishment to coastal settlements, they are also agents of destruction and chaos. In the late 2Oth century, many maritime towns in Britain turned their backs on the sea and embraced the urbanism of popular consumer culture; lately, they are looking to the sea once again in order to rediscover their historical identity. This return to the water may yet save tidal pools from extinction.
I remember the first time I saw a tidal pool: it was at Bondi Beach in Sydney in the late 80s or early 90s. Worpole’s description reminded me of how I reacted: uneasy, fascinated, a bit grossed out, and most of all wondering why? This essay is a good primer, and Orton’s photographs are beautiful.