40” x 30” (101 x 76 cm)

          Acrylic on gessoed panel

          Private Collection


This painting was inspired by a photograph taken by the Edinburgh writer and designer, Kate Davies. The location is the Isle of Unst, the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles. The island is famous for - wait for it - its much-celebrated Bus Shelter! The stone boat-weights are a common feature in the Shetlands. The title, Tenebrae,  Latin for 'shadows' or 'darkness' has Christian religious  significance. None is intended here. The painting happened to be worked on during a particularly dark time.  The meaning of the name 'Unst' is unknown. Robert Louis Stevenson's father and uncle were design engineers for the lighthouse on Muckle Flugga, just off Hermaness on the north-west of the island. The great Stevenson himself visited Unst, and the island is claimed to be the basis for the map of the fictional Treasure Island. I choose to totally believe this story.

‘This world is but a canvas to our imagination.’ Henry David Thoreau