On the Iles Purpuraires are the remains of a roofless prison and a watchtower. The island it is said was impossible to escape. Michel Vu ( age unknown) told me this. He arrived in Essaouira in 1974 an escapee from a different kind of prison. His early paintings are of lone women (one wearing violet carrying Le Chat Blanc), lovers in white and two children, a boy and girl playing in a pond with a red boat.
Every morning he lays among the aloe under a sky that’s not milky but a clear blue. He has found a way to harness the energy of the wind, not be defeated by it. His smooth white creatures rest with him. In a room that is all white and catches the sun he tells me he has been to the Iles.
The sand stung my legs as I walked down the painful purple path to the sea. Everywhere there were stones blushed with bits of bodily purple. Violet is the last colour left in a flower in Michel’s garden as it fades. He is full of magic and mysticism. I think he has seen it. Violet for him is shrouded in eternity but there is no eternity anymore.