Paradise Lost

Vexierbild, 2 parts, 42 x 60 cm each

The “lost paradise” is an expression of a painful longing for something valuable that one once possessed but then lost again. It implies the longing look back and the inevitable walk forward.

“If I die today after writing
This poem – God will have
Fulfilled his promise to show
Me Paradise – then take it away.
I want my poems cremated,
To vanish in the falling snow,
Dented words and phrases
To melt in the spring thaw;
Or better yet, load them onto
A boy’s sailboat and set me
Adrift, at last, in the fountain
Of the Jardin du Luxembourg.”

John Kay


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Man is a being driven by longing. The search for Atlantis – the mythical island empire sung about by Plato that sank into the sea – is the look back, the search for the memory of all the vanished utopias, symbolised by eight “preserves”.