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Islander

Henry Ward

Oil on Belgian linen

2018

Collection of the artist

For Ward, Islander marks a shift in his depiction of the figure relative to his philosophical considerations. “At a certain point, my pursuit of the ‘head and shoulder’ subject gave way to a greater inquiry about the various undertakings of human beings, their diverse manifestations and occupations and the equation of these subjects with their backgrounds.” he explains.


Islander represents the archetypical longshoreman — the person who is out in all weathers in his boat mending docks and attending to the needs of the landscape. His skin, the jacket and his cap all attend to this archetype whose likes can be found the world over and whose features, clothes and bearing represent the physical manifestation of the harsh landscape he inhabits” The figure is alone, a decision Ward describes as “an intention to not present specifics, to leave open questions about the nature of being and of life.”

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