Stanley Spencer Gallery
Everywhere is Heaven
Stanley Spencer & Roger Wagner
This exhibition will be the Gallery’s first collaboration with a living artist. Roger Wagner has been deeply inspired by Stanley Spencer’s paintings, and both artists have been described as ‘visionary geniuses’, each seeking to evoke the mystical in everyday experience. Just as Spencer found Cookham to be ‘heaven on earth’, so Roger evokes biblical happenings in contemporary settings.
They are united by a love of ‘metaphysicals’, as Stanley would have said, and the poets John Donne and Thomas Traherne, a theologian who wrote with a visionary innocence and found mysticism in the natural world.
The title of the exhibition references Spencer’s own words about his painting, John Donne arriving in Heaven, (on loan for this exhibition), and his description of the four figures facing in all directions because ‘everywhere is heaven so to speak’.
A number of works by Roger, who is also a published poet, will be hung alongside Spencer’s from the Gallery Collection and the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, including Builders of the Tower of Babel and Making Columns for the Tower of Babel.