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Throughout his life, Collins pursued his vision of a lost paradise, destroyed by the mechanisation of the modern world. Using archetypal figures, such as the Fool, the Angel and the Poet, he attempted to reveal our innermost selves.

In this terrifying image the Poet tries to break free from the geometric construction which surrounds him. At the same time he is being blinded by the sun. The burning city in the background is a reference to Collin’s native city of Plymouth which was bombed in 1940, one year before this painting.

September 2004