Painting St. Feoc
Michael Urquhart is an artist obsessed with numbers and with counting. Traditionally a painter of nudes, he travels to a remote part of south-west England to paint three ancient burial mounds. He arrives at a secluded village comprising fourteen old and disfigured men, a Catholic priest, and the priest's sister and her three daughters, all of whom have their own obsessions and their own stories of how they come to be there.
Within this dour, unchanging community, evoked by its smells and its frugality and set against a bleak, stagnant landscape where the old men live out their dismal struggle with the earth, each character travels their own path of understanding and contrives a different interpretation of events, plying the depths of their various obsessions-Michael Urquhart's incessant counting, the old men's resounding faith in a redeeming afterlife, the Priest's search for absolution from the incestuous sins of his past, and the private ruminations of the Priest's sister and her daughters. When Michael Urquhart changes the subject of his painting for one of grander vision, the outcome of all their disparate beliefs and convictions rests in its design.