History of Our World

A Line in the Water | Norman Ackroyd & Douglas Dunn

Posted in Art, Literature, Print by R on January 16, 2010

Atlantic Sunlight, Kerry
2008 · 20.5 x 33 cm · [579]

Sailing very close to Little Skellig, the rock is relegated to a backdrop by the size, noise and smell of the birds.

Tay bridge
1988 · 14.5 x 18.5 cm · [1988/3]

The Tay Rail Bridge, a replacement for the infamous bridge that collapsed in 1879, killing 75 train passengers, links the ancient kingdom of Fife with the northern regions of Angus and beyond.

St. John’s Head
1996 · 15 x 19.5 cm · [1996/9]

At 1,134 ft. the spectacular cliffs of St. John’s Head in the Island of Hoy in Orkney are the highest in Britain. The Old Man of Hoy, close to Rackwick Bay, is the highest sea stack in Britain.

Oranmore, Evening
1998 · 18.5 x 26 cm · [1998/5]

Oranmore Castle, which dominates the inner reaches of Galway Bay, was commandeered as barracks by Oliver Cromwell in the mid-seventeenth century.

1996 · 15 x 20.5 cm · [1996/3]

The remaining standing stones at Stenness on the Orkney mainland are at the heart of an enormous consecration of early remains dating back 5,000 years.

Atlantic Rain
2000 · 19 x 27 cm · [2000/4]
The islands of Inishkea stand in an exposed position in the Atlantic off the Belmullet Peninsula in West Mayo.

Rora Head, Hoy
1997 · 15 x 21 cm · [434]

Rora Head forms the northern bluff of Rackwick Bay on the Island of Hoy in Orkney.

Stiffkey Freshes
2004 · 19 x 32 cm · [2004/5]

Stiffkey, pronounced ‘stookey’, is an old established settlement on the North Norfolk coast.

Blakeney Church
2004 · 19 x 32 cm · [2004/8]

Blakeney Church sits on one of the highest points of the moraine ridge that defines the northern edge of Norfolk.

Study of Sun and Rain I, Skellig Rocks
1999 · 45 x 61 cm · [460]

In extreme weather conditions, when landing is impossible, the two Skellig Rocks, which are a mile apart, appear and disappear behind waves and sheets of rain in a disconcerting manner. The scream of seabirds mixed with the thunder of the Atlantic, the taste of of salt and the stench of rotten fish from the gannets of Little Skellig is all-pervading.

Dun Caan, Raasay’s Cap
2005 · 19.5 x 32 cm · [2005/3]

James Boswell climbed Dun Caan and danced a jig on its flat, 1,400 ft. summit when he visited the Isle of Raasay with Dr. Johnson in 1773.

In the culture of candlelight,
An inward scholarship –
Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and fingertip
Poised close to the point of the flame.
And this is how I feel tonight
In a monastic solitude,
One who has known his life subdued
By the sensory, his name
Dipped in envanishments
And their collected moments
All left unedited,
Unsifted, in candlelight
Where the many dead
Prowl, and stars ignite,
Frost silvers shrubs and grass.
All will pass. All will pass.

I do not guarantee
My resignation to all of this.
There are the memories of kiss,
Remembrances of harmony.
These pass only from me.
There will be echoes.
I sense them from centuries ago.
There’s no such thing as
I don’t know much, but that I know.
Look at the towering night-sky.
Look at the waters, this firth
Powering birth and rebirth.
And seen from this small cell
Built for discomfort,
Penitence and prayer,
Islanded, seagirt,
infinite and celestial



A Line in the Water

Norman Ackroyd [CBE, R.A] : Douglas Dunn [OBE]

Royal Academy of Arts



Norman Ackroyd

Douglas Dunn

Royal Academy of Arts