Ostend – the notebook is the origin of the book published a few weeks earlier, the backstage where the ballet is being prepared, the secluded hideaway from which one can better observe the landscape, the palette where the shapes, colours and gestures of the characters and their creator are mixed. It bears witness to a work in gestation, where Ostend is the outcome of this work. Objects mutate like living beings, humans evolve, experiment in secret, discover themselves. Ideas are born, change, settle, but more often than not refuse to do so, before finding their place in the final work, the narrative pictorial series Ostend, which Dominique’s notebook sheds new light on.
For us, the readers, the notebook will also be the culmination, the key to reading and revealing. By seeing what of the characters’ lives and the author’s work was not visible in the paintings, we will perceive what the characters project between the walls of a barn or behind the curtains. We will learn more about the majorette and those who accompany her, we will see bodies or parts of bodies – busts, buttocks, faces, hands – and we will perhaps understand why Irene exhibits hers on the beaches of Ostend. Or maybe we won’t. We shall see, but we shall be free to follow up these texts and scenes, which are open to interpretation.