The rain, the wind, the billboards

Christine Carteron

Achievements of Jean-Sébastien, aged 17, welcomed into

the Therapeutic and Research Centre of Nonette (France)


The rain, the wind, the excessive heat of the sun, nothing was a stumbling block to the presence outside, in the open air, of this little prince, quiet but yet so attentive.

I invited him to break that isolation. He accepted.

He entrusted me his first “drawing”. Billboards. Firstly isolated, then stored, placed next to each other, one by one. From the front view, side view, back, with breathtaking details.

At a later stage, these billboards appeared in a different scenography where the routes, the roads, the security fences, the cars started to take their place. Some roofs, some houses sprang out.

Once the work was finished, the autor gave me the names of the elements which had been represented, with concentration, discretion and happiness too. Then he entrusted me his pieces of work, one per day, asking at times to see them again – with a mix of joy and satisfaction.

A rusty (rouillé in French) billboard appeared. His finger pointing to the spot of rust, naming his anguish. Leaning on a window of the old castle where he lived, he pointed with distress at some young people who were outside in the rain, in the wind, and said “He has to come in! He is going to get rusty!

His encounter with someone having an old-fashioned name (“rouillé” in French – nom Rouillon) transformed this anguish. The rusty billboards were replaced in each drawing by a universe of billboards, rich in details and staging.

There was always a tree indicating, when I questioned it, to which season of the year we were moving .

His place with us changed. It was a more brilliant presence, less loaded with anguish. This daily work, a period of the day, continues. He always entrusts his creation to me. “ Fort he exhibit , here you are, Krissstin”. He joins his hands, which he separates in an instant of intense energy and satisfaction.

He went to hang some of his works and he was delighted!

Translation: Carmen Aznarez