If a clod be washed away by the sea
The title of the painting if a clod be washed away by the sea, takes its name from a verse from a famous sermon by the poet John Donne. The stanza highlights the importance of relationships and interconnectedness, through metaphors that involve both landscape and man. To recite one part of the text: “if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less [...] any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind”. That is to say, every part of the world - every fragment and every person- forms part of a bigger Whole, with microcosm and macrocosm in constant dialogue. I decided to use the verse as my title, to try and emphasise how man is an integral part of nature. What is more, the title coherently integrates itself into the image’s structure, in which symbolic forms linked to underlying energy and other forms linked to the work of man (such as the straight lines and flat, uniform colour) alternate. This seemingly harmonious balance between natural and artificial is in fact a fragile, dynamic and subtle equilibrium: the title appears to ask us what would happen if this equilibrium were to break, while the answer is left open.