“In the early 1980s my wife Tessa (Mary Nolan's daughter) and I used to visit Sid and Mary at their London flat by the Thames. That was where I first saw this beautiful painting, Roses in a Merric Boyd Pot. It was painted not long after Sid came to stay with Mary in Herefordshire.
Merric Boyd (1888-1959) was Mary's father, a renowned Australian potter.
To me, the painting conveys a deep serenity and reflects the joy and harmony Sid and Mary enjoyed in their early days together.
Sid and I shared a great love of Rimbaud's poetry and we often talked about his work together.”
Flowers by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)
From a golden slope--among silk ropes,
grey veils, green velvets,
and crystal discs that blacken like the bronze of the sun
I watch the foxglove open
on a carpet of filigree,
eyes and hair. Pieces of yellow gold
scattered over agate, mahogany pillars supporting
an emerald dome, bouquets of white satin
and delicate sprays of rubies
surround the water-rose.
Like some god's enormous blue eyes
staring from within a silhouette of snow,
sea and sky attract a crowd
of strong young roses to the marble steps.