The Snowdrops

137 x 98cm
Sarah Longley
£1900

2016

Charcoal on paper

Provenance: artist’s studio

Signed and dated lower right

A tranquil hilltop scene of a burial ground near the artist’s home in Lochalsh, Western Highlands of Scotland,  inspired by Michael Longley’s poem ‘Snowdrops’ in his 2017 collection,  Angel Hill. 

In ‘Snowdrops,’ the hill is peopled by war weary soldiers who are visiting the dead amongst the flourishing of spring: “Murdo, Alistair, / Duncan, home from the trenches, / Back in Balmacara and Kyle, / Cameronians, Gordon Highlanders / Clambering on hands and knees / Up the steep path to this graveyard.” Are they ghosts? Survivors? The influence of Stanley Spencer’s (1891 – 1959) ‘Resurrection’ paintings can be seen and adds to this drawing’s enigmatic power.