Every place we visit offers us the gift of Light. Subtle or extreme, no two landscapes have the same relationship with the miracle that is sunlight.
With Lebanon still very much in my memory I have revisited a brief trip we made to Byblos. This very ancient city has claim to be the oldest continually inhabited place on earth, some five thousand years of history.
It was here that Phoenician merchant traders established their links with the ancient Egyptian civilization, this led to their own hieroglyphic style alphabet and this in turn became the basis for all written European language. We were lucky enough to see some of this precious carved lettering in the Beirut museum and it is very moving to behold.
Byblos has an air of tranquil expectation and I felt the light even in the depth of winter was special. The famous small harbour, where those ships first set sail to other worlds is still visible. The water glistens in a reflected silver sea, almost pensive with possibilities. Beirut can be seen on the distant horizon, with its high rise skyline disappearing in the mist. Above on the hill lie the stone ruins of a Roman temple, reminding us of the long shadow of history. It’s a special place and has inspired me to my first large painting of the new year.
“The Silver Sun of Lebanon, Byblos Harbour”
I also attach a link to the Video of the Beirut show “Vision of Dualities”, it has accompanying music by one of my favourite bands, Sigur Ros. I hope you enjoy this short film interview.
Also attached are some photos I took of Byblos. Both its light and the language has inspired us all ever since.
Thanks for these wonderful memories and especially again to Vanessa Clark for inviting me to Lebanon and curating so beautiful.