A painting of a view of Sark seen from Herm. This is the part of Herm island that I most connect with. Behind us is an area of rabbit nibbled turf and low gorse known as the Common. It is strewn with the rubble of destroyed prehistoric graves. In this uncanny place the genii locorum, the spirits of place, make themselves known. In case you think this ‘haunting’ is fanciful I can only suggest that you make a quiet and respectful visit yourself, and form your own opinion. But remember that Compton Mackenzie, once tenant of the island, was once so frightened here he ran all the way back to the manor without stopping.
The sea borders the common on three sides. We are standing on Alderney Point, also known as La Pointe du Gentilhomme (one can see Alderney to the north in good weather). Before sea levels rose we would have been looking down into a valley. All the high places in these islands were sites of religious importance. The beach here is strange too, suffused with a curious light. It is that surreal light I have attempted to capture in this painting.