Forty one miles west of the Outer Hebrides lies the ancient archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest corner of Europe and home to the most important breeding site for seabirds in the UK.

There are no inhabitants, the last community of St Kildans having been evacuated in the 1930s.

For those unacquainted by the islands I would encourage you to read, research or indeed visit. I was dumbstruck by the monumentality of the physical landscape and its stories of hardship in extremis.

These then are the first of two small paintings in my St Kilda series, possibly sketches for large works. I wanted firstly to contrast the detail of the underlying geology with the huge blousiness of the north atlantic clouds.

Day, Stac Lee - Elcock

Day, Stac Lee

Acrylic on canvas, 38x28cm     (2014)  Private Collection

The question of scale, in particular for the left hand sea stack (Stac Lee) was kept deliberately ambiguous in the context of the overall composition. I deal with the question of scale in a more dramatic way with a later work in which Stac Lee is co-located in exact scale to the 40m campanile of Chiesa San Michele in Venice.

Furthermore, once I’d completed Day, Stac Lee I realised that one might run the risk of imagining a visit to the islands could rather be like a day trip from Brighton. In Night, Boreray the painting seeks to remind us of the horror that a night trip in an atlantic winter would be.

Night, Boreray

Night, Boreray

Acrylic on canvas, 38x28cm (2014)  ENQUIRE