'Late in 1968, while still working on a resolution of The Journey, Leonard French embarked on a new major sequence of work which expressed itself in The Raft Series ... The series again dealt with a heroic, but meaningless journey, and one where the hero is stripped of companionship, confidence and the potential for triumph. The naked figure, hiding his face from the gaze of man, seated on a makeshift raft aimlessly drifting in an endless ocean, has all the hallmarks of a self-referential existentialist image. The intellectual context points more to Beckett, Ionesco and Borges, than it does to the heritage of the Homeric heroes.
'In its formal language, The Raft series takes the painterly, non- ornamental tendencies of The Journey paintings to a climax. Although the actual technique of the painting in enamel glazes has remained unchanged, dramatic figuration has been given new prominence. The paintings are built around a polarity of the despair of the figure alone on the raft, and the ephemeral and ambiguous rainbow, a symbol of hope, faith and regeneration, shown as a presence from above. It is difficult not to see within the series an overiding note of pessimism and withdrawal from the world, a world so different from the one in which the Elizabethan hero met his martyrdom, protected through his faith. While Patrick McCaughey championed the show, it generally received a quiet reception with most of the series, between its Sydney and Melbourne exposures, remaining unsold.' (S. Grishin, Leonard French, Sydney, 1995, p.48)