The zulu-sterned "Kildonan" was part of the Shetland fishing fleet for a short few years during the 1930s, owned by a Eunson partnership from Burra Isle. One night, after the crew had hauled the drift-nets for a fair shot of herring, the engine exploded on starting, and the boat went on fire. The men took to the lifeboat (no lives were lost) and watched the "Kildonan" become a total loss. The skipper afterwards recounted how the saddest sound he had ever heard in his life was that of the herring "bowws" exploding in the heat.
The painting was commissioned by a Shetland resident.