Spencer, Stanley - Symbolism 04 - Scarecrow Cookham 1934
Type of Spiritual Experience
Although this is simply an hypothesis, I feel that Stanley tried to do two things with his painting.
In the first place he tried to represent the enormity of what spiritual experience can mean - and he did this by the use of Light and the size of his paintings.
But I also think he was trying to compile a complete set of the symbols in mystic thinking. By incorporating each symbol into a picture he was 'keeping the baton going' passing on this knowledge in a form that those who know would know and well ............
But this latter task is an enormous job. Even those who wrote books like Lewis Carroll found it something of a challenge. There are literally thousands of symbols and of course painting them does not help anyone understand the meaning - incidentally this is not a criticism just an observation.
But I think his aim was to keep all the symbols in the subconscious of people, to reinforce their existence until - well until we were able via the computer and the Internet - to make them accessible!
Circus and fairgrounds do the same thing as does pantomine, he was lucky to be born in a culture where there was so much reinforcement around him
The Art and Vision of Stanley Spencer - Kenneth Pople
Stanley's several Crucifixions and the paintings he derived from them (The Scarecrow is an example) show Stanley in the depths of a periodic frustration at being unable to suppress an intrusive 'disturber of the peace' (look for the disturber biographically.)
A description of the experience
The source of the experienceSpencer, Stanley
Concepts, symbols and science items
Fields and meadows