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Tory

Tory Island Derek Hill

The little house is still there. A very little house, four walls and a roof, looking at the ocean, hanged on a cliff. Far of the other houses. Only one room in this house.

The man is painting there. With his pencils, he looks away, as far as he can. He wants to put on his canevas, the storm, the life, the ocean, houses, dreams, fears, night, day, people, even the soul of each thing have to be there... The english man found something here, something nobody can explain. We never should try to explain what love is, and especially why we love something.

The english man, he was born in Hampshire, in 1916. He travelled a lot, He worked as theater designer somewhere in Leningrad, in the 1930's, still very young man, a bit after theater he works as an historian.

After history, he choosed to do arts. To be a painter. He began with portraits.

Sitting near the little house, he was doing the portrait of a giant. As obsessed by him, huge piece of stone, beating inside, a giant married with an irascible one, beautiful and harsh, using love and hate for kisses, dark and deep blue as the soul of melancholy. The man done their portraits, together, separated... He was in love for this eerie couple from the silent age.

He arrived on Toraigh without any idea of what he would find here. Henry McIlhenny,, an irish-american art collectionner called him for do a portrait of him. The grand father of Henry gone find fortune in America, he found it, and Henry came back in his Donegal. Then the english man discovered Ireland.

And by the game of meetings done in a life, he gone on Tory. He stayed in the little house. He painted many years there. He leaved, and come back, and leaved again, but always come back. This place is a magnet.

One day he was painting, alone, near his house. An old islander came to see. James Dixon. He looked the painter work. The painter asked: 'What do you think about?', the old islander said 'I can do better'. The painter purposed him pencils and painting, but James Dixon done his own gear. That is an other story. James Dixon became famous. But it's an other story.

The english man became famous too, he was talented. James Dixon and him initiated a love for painting on this island wich never stopped to paint after the coming of the english man in his little house.

Derek Hill died in 2000, in London. Each wall of the little house remenber of him, and each step he done is still in the floor. Each breath he took is still in the wind, and each color he used is still on islanders pencils.

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