This is painted from near the island end of the pilgrim’s route in the morning light looking towards the mainland. The sands are deserted, pristine, the tide has just fully gone out. The scouring tides of winter have removed the seaweed that is found at other times and left the sands patterned with a dazzling complexity of sinuous ridges. Footprints seen on my other paintings of the sands evoking the act of walking to the island the act of pilgrimage are absent. Nothing interrupts the geometry created by the retreating water. There have been no pilgrims, yet. The route is still there. Punctuating the space are the staves, a visual reminder of their existence as a dotted line on the map. They give a strange sense of scale to a landscape so devoid of any other such references. They are a reassuring human presence in a constantly changing space. Even the nature and texture of the sands has seasonal variations. The posts remain passively fixed as though anchoring the land down, their shadow turning and shortening as the day progresses, until the next inundation re draws the sands. Momentarily the post is bisected by a veil of high cloud, miles away, so for that moment and in that place the viewer can see a cross