Image: Coffee Sack Series No.4. AVALON. Mixed Media on Canvas. 50 x 50 cm. 2016
If I hadn’t become an artist and teacher of art I would have probably become a historian or an Archeologist. Legends like the tale of King Arthur fascinate me. Was the Isle of Avalon, the legendary resting place of Arthur, really situated at Glastonbury, Somerset, or was it, as proposed in 2012, at Burgh Island, Devon? ‘And did those feet’, is the title of a book by Michael Goldsworthy, which purports that the body of Jesus is in fact buried with Joseph of Arimathea within this newly determined Avalon island in Devon. The Island used to be known as the fabled Island of Ictis by classical Greek and Latin chroniclers. It had originally been used to store tin ingots when the Island of Ictis monopolised the trade of tin through the Phoenicians to the ancient world.
We can ask, did Joseph of Arimathea really bring the body of Jesus, together with the holy grail, to the West Country, or was that a piece of 16C fake news originated through the famous Melkins Prophecy? Is the lay line followed by the Michaeline chapels clues to the real location of Avalon? Or…did all this really happen at all ?
You may be thinking that my potted excursion into England’s ancient history all seems a very long way away from the current pandemic, but we can rightfully ponder on what history will make of these unprecedented times we are all living through now. What tales will be told in 100 or 1000 years time? What powerful and heart rending personal stories of tragedy and heroism will each family pass on to future generations? The world will have so many tales to tell, as sad as they are uplifting, and these will be spoken of as a time that the world fought and defeated one of the greatest threats to its survival. It remains to be seen if King Arthur and his knights ride out of Merlin’s Cave in Tintagel to save the world, but it is sure that today’s heroes and heroines will take their place alongside the legends of the past and their bravery and courage will not be forgotten.