At the halfway stage of this work, the shapes began to resemble a floating island reminiscent of Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin’s third painting of The isle of the dead 1883, which features towering cliff faces. I then developed the painting further, with Böcklin in mind.
At around the same time, I came across John Donne’s prose work Devotions upon emergent occasions 1624 in which two lines are memorable: ‘No man is an island’ and ‘For whom the bell tolls’. I use the first of these as my title, noting that we should feel a sense of belonging to the whole of the human race.
Gareth Sansom, 2020