CW. You use a variety of subject matter in your work and you don't always treat it in the same way. What lies behind this approach?
RC. I don't follow any narrow technical enquiry. I like to work in a style broad enough to use whatever ideas I have, humorous, topographical, sociological or autobiographical, in painting, printmaking or verse. The innovations of twentieth century art have provided a range of possibilities and I use these as appropriate.
CW. Yes. Some of your works seem to have a surrealist influence while others fracture forms in a way that might stem from cubism. Yet others are more conventional.
CW. I am not concerned with the world of dreams and the subconscious that interested the Surrealists. If I assemble objects in strange ways, it is more a way of answering the question: how do you get consumer goods with which we are surrounded today into a painting? Breaking up forms can bring the illusion of movement or give expressive effects. As for reverting at times to a more straight forward approach, I don't feel just because I am working in the twenty-first century, that I cannot respond to people or a landscape without forcing them through an artificial stylistic mill. I believe that the unity of an artist's work comes from his or her general approach and survives surface effects. If in this, I am regarded as quixotic, so be it.
CW. Turning to your poetry, how would you describe it?
RC. I am quite prepared to call it verse, but I prefer the adjective ludic to light. I agree with Auden who said, that among other things, poetry is always a word game and a game must always have rules. He said you can make up the rules but that the thing is to obey them. Light verse tends to stick to well-tested rules while ludic poetry is more inventive with form. All my verse may be light but some of it is ludic too. And of course as I am mainly a visual artist, some of my ludic poems invent visual rules.