Benjamin Creme: Chalice (c1974). Oil on canvas, 93 x 71 ins.

Benjamin Creme: Creative Spirit

Until 10 December 2022

Scottish-born artist, Benjamin Creme (1922-2016) is represented in the exhibition Creative Spirits at The College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington. The exhibition brings together art and photography created by 100 mediums, dreamers and visionaries over the past 165 years.

This monumental painting, Chalice is the major work of this second phase of his artistic career and was exhibited in the Hayward Annual exhibition in 1974. From around 1964, Creme’s work moved away from the modernist figuration he had practiced since the early 1940s, and his paintings merged with his philosophical interests and became symbolically abstract and totally esoteric in its meaning. Creme had long been interested in Theosophy, the study of religion, philosophy, and science, with its links to the occult and cosmology. Creme felt that his paintings had moved from the ‘sign’ to the ‘symbol’, away from his earlier figurative works. His later paintings sought to give expression to what he described as ‘that inner reality that becomes accessible through meditation’. He wrote that ‘esotericism is about the evolution of consciousness, not of the physical form’ and ‘to the esotericist, an artist is someone who attunes themselves to the vibration of reality and gives that expression.’