With the summer exhibitions now over, I can pursue my journey backwards in time. Raymond’s boxes, full of notebooks, cardboard folders bursting with sheets of paper, lie in waiting.
I open them…
I always open them with an idea of what I’m looking for – the sketch of a painting or of a scuplture I like, and then… I dive in.
I start kneeling, hunched over the box, inevitably ending up sitting down, my hands full. One by one, I put each thing I’ve found aside, and finger through them, reading through Raymond’s life, buried in this colourful disorder, sometimes a little creased or a little faded.
Strange sensation: I enter his life through the doorway of his rough-work, his research, his hesitations, his anger. This buried intimacy obliges me to proceed slowly, with care.
I don’t want to rush it.
A sheet, another sheet, a sketch, a scribbled note, a newspaper article, a letter, a notebook, another notebook. Time flies by, years pass, and Raymond’s life materialises out of words and brush strokes, colours and graphite.
Today, it’s a notebook : here for you to explore is one of his 12 Sonnets, no pepper, no salt, written in 1966 and reworked the following year in a second notebook, this time with illustrations.
”The Prankster”, sonnet n°5, Sonnets, no pepper, no salt, 1966 / 1967