This painting was inspired by Pink Floyd’s instrumental ‘Marooned’ and the story of Alexander Selkirk, castaway in 1704 on the San Fernadez chain of uninhabited islands in the South Pacific. All Selkirk had with him was a musket, gunpowder, carpenters tools, a knife and a bible. Little did he know that the ship he had been sailing aboard, the Cinque Ports, later foundered and sank with all crew on board and he himself would spend the four years and four months on that island without any human contact. The painting depicts the setting sun under threatening tropical skies on his first day marooned and, on the left foreground, a fire lit by Selkirk using the tools he was given by the captain that very morning. Hearing strange sounds coming from the interior of the island, which he feared were dangerous beasts, Selkirk remained at first along the shoreline.
Daniel Defoe was to immortalise the life and times of Selkirk in his book Robinson Crusoe. The painting’s background scenery is based on Coral Coast, Fiji, South Pacific and the colours used are Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Yellow Ochre, Crimson, Burnt Umber, Mars Black, Titanium White, Phthalo and Ultramarine Blue.