Spencer, Stanley - Landscapes 05 - Englefield 1954
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Art and Vision of Stanley Spencer - Kenneth Pople
To the mature Stanley, the instinct to love was more than the down-to-earth urges we tend to think of as sex. He regarded it as a mystery, a gift ….. There are two parts of me, he once wrote, one is me and the other is the life around me which is me also....I am aware that all sorts of parts of me are lying about waiting to join me. It is the way I fulfil and complete myself.
The happiness these creative feelings generated convinced Stanley of the absolute necessity of peace. Peace in that sense did not mean absence of war, nor of material struggle, nor of the dangers of adventure, for these cannot be avoided in our everyday lives. Rather it referred to an inner experience of imperturbable isolation from everyday circumstances. Time and again he sought such peace, even at the expense of safety or comfort in his down-to-earth life.
Only the creativity achieved in such peace was valid for Stanley. …. To help discern it, he followed the classic thinking of mankind …. Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Mahomet, the Bible, the ancient philosophers, the poets and novelists who had understood humanity in its universal nature - Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, the Metaphysical Poets - the classical composers, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart - the great artists, especially those of mediaeval and Renaissance periods - all these in their different ways were welcomed as successful practitioners by Stanley. For this reason he remained devoted to their works.
A description of the experience
Lilac and Clematis at Englefield 1954