This piece is part of a series by Colin Black connected to Iona, celebrating the scenic beauty of the island, its history and its Christian heritage. It is dominated by a vast, turbulent sky, whose swirling effects complement the jagged collage that makes up the landscape.
This piece is atypical for this series since it uses a square canvas. Although only a limited colour palette is used, there are many variations of shade within the colours chosing. Thus, the shades of yellow in the sky range from pale lemon through cadmium to ochre and pale orange. The thickly applied green paint helps to veil the sun by creating motley swirls of cloud. Glimmers of sunlight fall on the hills in the distance, which have been created using a collage of cutouts. Beneath these hills, the sea is composed of two shades of blue to suggest sunshine and shadow and conveythe tumultuous weather of the island.
The lower half of the piece is more abstract. It is composed of collage sections cut in straight lines to form jagged shapes, giving it an artificial feel that contrasts with the gentle curves of the hills above the sea. The figure in the lower left is a saint taken from a medieval manuscript, perhaps intended to represent Columba himself. His eyes look upwards, towards the rest of the painting, suggesting that the title of the piece refers to Iona as Columba's "Isle of Dreams."
Colin Black studied Graphic Design at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. He worked in London for fourteen years at major design practices before starting his teaching career. He is currently a member of staff at Leith School of Art and exhibits regularly at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh.