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Willing thought of this as his most Baroque painting claiming, "There's a wind blowing through, which is something Baroque painters were interested in. The boat is foundering." It relates to the second part of the Book of Jonah, which he had recently read. His art has a visionary quality that derives from the 'revelations' he had as a result of suffering from multiple sclerosis. "I imagined that I was on a sailing boat, alone and at night. The boat was rushing along in a high wind but the sea was turgid, red and visceral with serpentine creatures writhing on the surface. It was very dark - the darkness pressing in claustrophobically…it was a problem - how to represent it, since the boat's structure and rigging were around me." Both Willing and his wife, the artist Paula Rego, were interested in the role of the subconscious in art, and underwent Jungian analysis.
oil on canvas
H 228 x W 315 cm
gift from Colin St John Wilson through the National Art Collections Fund, 2004