‘The thought in my head does not yet have shape or form, only direction, one picture leading into another.’An ageing artist, faced with his own mortality, embarks on one final artwork. As he battles to complete the project, working with an enigmatic young photographer, he finds his past and present blurring. Through the act of creation and the memories it excavates, the artist comes to a realisation about what matters most, and what he will leave behind when he is gone.
This hybrid and innovative short novel responds through fiction to ‘The New World’, the final artwork by the late artist Alan Smith – which is in turn a response to an eighteenth-century fresco, Giandomenico Tiepolo’s ‘Il Mondo Nuovo’. With sparkling, dreamlike prose, Bruton weaves a story around these artworks, arriving at both a profound exploration of the creative process and a timeless love story told in a new way.