"..and so pass through the matrix of memory and through
The archetype that defined the first vision and set our Parameters
To an inner meaning without external references,

The Art of Ray Robinson
by Charlotte Rodgers

Poor Devils
Each of the paintings has a true circumstance…and the result of my ‘being there’

My general observation of my contribution was, as I wrote at the time
‘When reason sleeps in the minds of the wise
Witches burn and demons rise’

by Charlotte Rodgers, October 6 2016


Ray Robinson

History is littered with visionaries who change our perception, Often, in these people’s lifetime their work, their art is only glimpsed out of the corner of an eye and whilst it changes you, the change isn’t necessarily acknowledged at source.

It usually takes another visionary to stop, pause and recognise the impact. Rarely is the originator of the change of awareness still alive at this moment of recognition.

I often wondered what it would be like to communicate with one of these iconoclasts. If I met Austin Osman Spare for instance, would I have the ability to recognise him, to pause, and open myself up to a different way of seeing?

I first encountered Ray Robinson’s work when I was interviewing Gallery Owner and Art Dealer Stephen Romano, and I found it to be some of the most powerful art I’ve come across.

Stephen suggested I contact Ray, and thus started one of the most magical mystery tours of an interview I’ve ever done.

Now I’ve interviewed many artists and spiritual teachers, but this particular conversation fell into neither camp and was in a league apart from both.

A good interviewer adapts themselves to the individual rhythm and dance of those they are conversing with and there can be a huge variation in movement.

In this particular instance I have been challenged, insulted, taken on mystical journeys, had the most incredible dreams, but never, NEVER had a question directly answered.

Truth to tell I loved the process, infuriating as it was at points.

The following relates portions of conversations with a great artist who will change you. Recognise it, allow it, and for gods sakes try and see Ray Robinson’s work in actuality.

Ray, I’m not a formally trained art critic so this discussion won’t be focused on academic interpretation of your work. Hopefully you wont be insulted by any ignorance on my part but instead regard it as way to communicate as freely as you want without having to adhere to any particular approach.
I’ve read your ‘Grandmother Chronicles’ which perhaps gives an insight into your structuring of reality and art.
Words are often so limited but this is an astounding piece of writing.
The trauma of leaving your home in WW2 London, going to stay at your grandmother’s and undergoing an initiation of sorts into different perceptions of vision and interpretation is wonderful, as is the way you describe the re-presentation of perceptions of light, time and space.
Now it would be easy for me to turn this into a conversation where I grill you about aspects of your work that I’m personally fascinated by, constantly interrupting you with my irritating over enthusiastic asides, but I won’t. I am an untrained artist who has written a few books and my personal creative interests, what I focus on and what I often write about, are spirituality and power that are contained within objects and art. The older I get the more I realise that the line between art and magic is so fine as to be non existent.

So who are you?

Very brave (I am not sure whether Ray is referring to himself or me for approaching him in that statement) Stephen Romano can cover the exterior for the last 40 years. (follow below link) I live in Nova Scotia but am originally from London, England. I am a very trained artist who has also written a few books. I have lived a life with the fact that there is no line at all.
Nothing has ever inspired me. Mine has been a search for ‘why’ I do not know. I know that I do not know, but why the great gaps in a humans basic understanding? The senses to not sense but, still, humans survive.
Inspiration surely is the source of the creative process and if creativity doesn’t exist, then what is an artist and who and what are you? What are the images you produce? Premeditated? Actual?
No not premeditated.
No not actual.
No not channelled

Allowed by who or what?
By the subject.
At the beginning of the ‘Grandmother Chronicles’ you use a quote by Magnus Roundtree ‘how you see the world shows how it behaves, change how you see the world, and the world changes’
And that leads into the memory of a child leaving the grey chaos of London to a world ordered by nature and a near crystalline perception that is the antithesis of before, but makes complete sense and is very real and actual.

In a memo to Stephen Romano you said that,’ sculpture as a pure visual art form cannot and does not exist, Form has measurable three dimensions but is not to human vision, three dimensional. Human vision can only see half of any form. A simple glass globe described visually is half convex and half concave! Multiple views of a single object do not give an experience of the whole.’ This is fascinating – and challenging for the artist.

This is developing into a conversation, which at the moment I cannot support. I know Stephen has a good reason for suggesting you talk to me. His project at the moment required that he asked me for some comments on my art…I suggested that this was not really a good idea given his understanding of my basic views. I sent him a quick and short sample of what my replies to his questions might be, in this case my basic view of my sculpture. His reply was to send you to me???

Ray and I worked through this and I began to realise that Ray was a visionary who communicates through his art. Interpretations of his work are incredibly important to him, and are something he wants translated properly and accurately. I also needed to try not to get too absorbed in Ray’s fascinating philosophies, and retain a degree of distance and professionalism. So we continued the dance…
‘Humans have two ways to understand reality, each world taken to the logical conclusion of living. First a world of conception and secondly a world seen with perception. However only if you understand these words and without the ‘isms’ of art doctrine you do not need to question me, however even after that there are still much to be learned.’ Ray Robinson

Tell me about the series of paintings Sleep of Reason and Sleep of Reason II

Stephen was mounting many shows on the subjects of witches. To me the basic truth of this was totally unreasonable until I thought of the sleep of reason in the midst of these people and after that, total empathy. As with all art, total empathy between artists, materials and subject.
These works are not some airy fairy illustration; they are real. Real in fact, real in space, real in time. All I did was write it all down. All that is except the hanging…I could not write down the smell and the visual truth was more than my brush could summon.

Poor Devils
Each of the paintings has a true circumstance…and the result of my ‘being there’
My general observation of my contribution was, as I wrote at the time
‘When reason sleeps in the minds of the wise
Witches burn and demons rise’

Autres expositions de Stephen Romano

Stephen Romano

Visionary and Outsider Art

Stephen Romano

HOMAGE TO HR GIGER curated by Stephen Romano

Stephen Romano

STEPHEN ROMANO GALLERY presents Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis: or, Threefold Coercion of Hell, Last Testament and the Sigils of the Art

Stephen Romano

STEPHEN ROMANO GALLERY presents "Apparitions"

Stephen Romano