Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow was short-listed for a Searle Award at the Ruskin Gallery in April 2012, followed by a solo exhibition at the Leper Chapel in Cambridge, with thanks to Cambridge PPF & the Friends of the Leper Chapel for permission to use the Chapel.

This installation work (boat flanked by hessian and muslin drapes on either side) represents my endeavour to discover, depict and extol the beauty of religion as well as the natural end of life. It is inevitable that we grow old and ultimately face our destiny.

According to Greek mythology, the boat is the vessel that transports the body and soul to the Afterworld. Death then is a migration from this life to the next. When we say ‘goodbye’ to our departed from the shore of this life, the size of the boat diminishes gradually until it disappears into the horizon.

However, on the shore of the next life, there are people welcoming the arrival of the boat; to them, the size of the boat increases until it reaches the destination. We have to let go of our dead, to let them sail until they have migrated to another place, where our grief cannot reach them.

This installation is site-specific, the background noise resonating the sounds of the sea and the Chapel reflecting the upturn of the boat.