Here is the latest image I’ve been working on- these are some of the dogs we see most days on our walks in the village and on the village green. In my image they are meant to represent Cerberus. Cerberus was the dog from Greek Mythology that guarded the gates to Hades- so no one could escape back across the river Styx. I need to revise my image to include more of the detail on the Set-aside. I have been reading more recently about the work of Stanley Spencer. Spencer saw his home village/town of Cookham as Heaven on earth. A deeply religious man he saw images from the bible in his everyday life in Cookham and depicted the locals as characters from these stories.
This is a painting by Spencer is of St Francis of Assisi and is called ‘St Francis and the Birds’. St Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscans, is popularly remembered for being able to talk to birds, and pray with them. Here he is shown as an old man, dressed in a Franciscan robe, talking to birds on a farm. The figure of St Francis was based upon William Spencer who, in eccentric old age, pottered around the village in his dressing gown.