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A solitary woman gazes across endlessly rolling waves to a fierce storm out at sea. Is she waiting for someone's return? In 1920 the picture might have been seen as a dramatisation of the recent experiences of many real women. The subdued colouring and restrained composition give a sense of the sadness and dislocation of the post-war era. The mast that rises like a Greek stela, or gravestone, combines with the stylised waves to create a formal grid-like structure. As an Official War Artist in 1918 and 1919, Carline had made drawings from the air. The high horizon here is reminiscent of these aerial sketches.

August 2004