A ship is in full sail as it moves speedily across the waves – the wake behind it, and the way it crashes through the foam around its hull, suggests that its crew make this journey with determination and a certain pride in its achievement. The age of sail fills us all with a drive to adventure, and to seek what lies beyond the horizons we know so well. And if we look closely, we might see a figure on the deck of this vessel, looking expectantly into the distance and anticipating arrival at the island towering before him.
The striking feature of the island is the huge building on its summit – is it church or fortress? Whatever it may be, its dark and sombre image leaves some doubt as to what awaits the travellers. Heavy cloud cover and a choppy sea add to a sense of gloom, and the sunlight breaking through in the distance gives only a limited feeling of hope. We have a premonition that this place may be somewhere to be avoided – if one had the choice.
Text: Richard Hayes