Treasure Island

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Treasure Island assemblage

 

Here is a Lang Brothers whisky bottle which has lain beneath the ocean (in Loch Linnhe) for enough years to gather a fat crop of barnacles.  A bottle with a story.

A sailor was once marooned upon a deserted island and after many years of isolation and contemplation he became enlightened, realising that the only true treasure lies buried within our own hearts.  He drew this treasure map, tucked it  inside the whisky bottle and secured it with the stopper.  He flung the bottle into the currents to carry the message where it would.

Here is the feather quill, nib sharpened and still bearing ink stains, with which the sailor wrote his message. This moulted feather had previously  powered  a magnificent gull who wheeled and cried above the island.

Here is the old clay pipe which the sailor puffed as he sat on the cliff  tops searching  the horizon for distant sails.  (It is a tale of sadness as well as joy)

Here is the sailor’s old stone heart which he used before he discovered  the bliss of Universal Love.

Here is a piece of broken china from the Captain’s own personalised crockery. In fact Cap’n Grindley  (from Stoke-on-Trent)  was tucking into a big dish of salt pork with mangoes and chillies on this very plate  when the ship struck the uncharted reef upon which all perished save our own sailor.

Here is the sailor’s hook hand. Looking at it now, old and rusted, you wouldn’t  think it had once saved a man’s life! During the fateful shipwreck when all on board were tossed upon the jagged reef or drowned in their bunks, his hook caught in the rigging and  whipped him up the main mast. There he was secured until the following morning when  he untangled himself, sodden and salty but alive.

He’d lost the hand he was born with during a sea battle, whilst ramming the shot and  powder charge down the barrel of a 32 pounder on the lower deck.

Here are the skulls of seabirds, remains of dinners  which were  barbecued in yam leaves on the beach every evening as the sun was setting.

Here are pieces of glittering glass, all that remain of the surgeon’s (who was also the ship’s  cook) medicine cabinet.  The lens from his monocle became a useful device for lighting fires.

Here is some of the  salvaged shipwreck, recycled into temporary accommodation until the sailor discovered how to weave  attractive huts  from   palm fronds.

And above all this lingers his ghost. You can still see the horror on his face as he recalls his tales of yore.  Or could his expression be a terrible warning?  Is he asking you to find the love buried deep in your heart before it is too late?

 

All evidence has been gathered   from the shore of Caol beach, Fort William

Treasure island, treasure map
Treasure Island Assemblage, the ghostly ghost

 

Follow Felicity Nightingale:

Artist and Illustrator

Drawing has always been a compulsion of mine and I went on to study Illustration and Graphic Design at the West of England College of Art after leaving school. I have been working as a professional illustrator and artist for over 15 years now, with a broad range of work from historical information panels to large picture maps of Highland estates and portraits. I have a passion for figurative work and the human figure is always a challenge which I love. Originally from Dorset, I now live in a fairly remote and inspirational part of the Scottish Highlands.

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