A Kaleidoscope of Facsimile Holograph Letters to his friend, the Poet and Painter Vera Wainwright
assembled by Kenneth and Steffi Grant
In his late creative life, Spare was sought out by artists and writers eager to receive insights of experience from the ‘Walworth Road Surrealist.’ And yet, there were very few indeed who became good friends. Vera Wainwright was one such friend. She arrived in Spare’s life as the clouds of war cast a long shadow over South London, and sought him out amid the debris of the blitz to offer her support and affection. Dearest Vera is an account of their friendship told by Spare himself, through the many letters sent to his new pupil.
Those familiar with Spare will find new insights to his life and theories on art, while newcomers will discover an eccentric and gifted artist sharing a lifetime’s experience with an eager pupil. Compiled by Kenneth and Steffi Grant, this kaleidoscope of correspondence is a rare treat, and a major resource for those seeking to better understand this complex and neglected genius.
Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) is one of the most influential and innovative figures in twentieth century occultism. A natural artist and psychic, Spare’s explorations of the creative focus gave rise to an ontology and body of work that departs radically from conventional occultism, both then and now. Ahead of his time, he was dismissed by Crowley early in his career, but found appreciation and understanding with the next generation, who embraced his ideas with alacrity.