Fallen Tree, Clapham Common, 1987

A Storm

All that is taking place in the UK right now disturbs and saddens me deeply.

I have been looking at sketches, drawings and paintings that I have done of my home country over the years. It is a place I love, but what I recorded of the landscape and environment is curiously sparse.

This seems to point to the possibly obvious fact that I have been excited by travel and encounters with the foreign, even if it has been a fairly modest and conservative exploration compared to many – no year-long travels in the Far East or treks through the rain forest for me! Nevertheless, the journeys I have been privileged to experience always opened my eyes a little wider and helped form me as a person.

This is why I find the sense of cultural and societal retrenchment at the heart of Brexit so depressing.

The featured image above was made after the Great Storm of October 15th 1987.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1987

The storm ripped through the southern part of the country. Its force and the devastation it wrought were entirely unexpected. I drew the huge uprooted tree the following day on Clapham Common. It is always sad to see something so grand and unique destroyed. Perhaps a new sapling was planted, but it cannot truly replace what was lost, and certainly I will never see it grow to a like stature in my lifetime.

It feels an apt image for our times.

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