Recently I decided that I needed to know more about the Channel Islands, why? Why not, is my default answer and there are probably few better reasons than that. Having since hunted down a couple of books – as well as finding some obscure titles about other subjects in the process, more of which in the future – this is the first of two books I have to share with you.
Rather than concentrating on the stories and histories thereof first, this offering is a simply a series of watercolour scenes from the islands. These are mainly from Jersey and Guernsey, as well as a token one each from both Alderney and Sark.
Strangely the cover doesn’t really give the inquisitive viewer any clue to the quality or style of the work, so throwing myself into the subjective world of art, I couldn’t help but be taken by this collection. Not only does it inspire travel with its attention to nature, but it also adds in a touch of the human encroachment and how this can be pleasant but also less palatable.
There is much to appreciate with these watercolours, whether it be a ferocious sea, a peaceful scene of boats around a harbour, or the impressive towering cliffs that adorn a few of the pieces. The sea features in all of the photos, which makes sense for the subject of islands but the scope for the interiors now interests me and leaves me seeking art that is more inward looking.
I find this book not only a pleasing companion piece to discovering about the islands but also as a means to imagination and to allow ourselves to dream of unspoilt, or at least less populated islands, where the possibilities for discovery and adventure in nature are always tantalisingly close at hand.