I’ve forgotten where I made the sketch for this study of waves on Guernsey rocks – my reference photo had no location either, but I’m guessing that the rocks are somewhere a little north of Jerbourg Point and the distant cliffs are Clarence Battery.
The light in Guernsey is almost always strong, even when the sky is overcast. The sun is invisible but is still reflected on the waves crashing onto the rocks. I can hardly think of a more enjoyable thing than to sit and watch great waves at work. The sounds, the smell – they are with me constantly.
It is easy to personify waves, to project fury on to them as they crash into rocks and collapse as if with frustrated effort. Better perhaps to let go of the personification and enjoy the timeless action of the tides, to admire the enormous force of the waves and the resistance of the rocks. It is this action that I return to again and again to understand what is real. Just a mile or two from here, men and women in suits conduct earnest business. The generation of wealth for people who are already wealthy is the core business of this island. These waves tell a different truth.