Nick Cave, The Secret Life of Love Songs, 1999, Vienna, Austria.

Looking back over the past 20 years, a certain clarity prevails. Amidst the madness and the mayhem, it would seem I have been banging on one particular drum. I see that my artistic life has centred around an attempt to articulate an almost palpable sense of loss that laid claim to my life. A great gaping hole was blasted out of my world by the unexpected death of my father when I was 19. The way I learned to fill this hole, this void, was to write. My father taught me this as if to prepare me for his own passing. I found that, through the use of language, I was writing God into existence. Language became the blanket that I threw over the invisible man, which gave him shape and form. The actualisation of God through the medium of the love song remains my prime motivation as an artist. I found that language became a poultice to the wounds incurred by the death of my father. Language became a salve to longing.

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