Priest-painter – Robert Wright is an Anglican priest who seeks to explore spirituality through the medium of abstract paintings.
© Robert Wright
Self taught, Robert looks to Wassily Kandinsky, Ben Nicholson, Mark Rothko, Sean Scully and Terry Frost as major influences on his painting. He is especially concerned with the balance of his paintings and he hopes that this reflects his simultaneous exploration of contemplative prayer where he is heavily influenced by the writings of the Twentieth Century monk Thomas Merton, from where Robert gains many of his titles.
Working mostly in acrylics, in his paintings Robert explores dimensions and elements of the soul which correspond to the dimensions and elements of our reality to reveal further meanings and just when something seems clear, other deeply evocative spaces and perspectives open up.
The paintings are concerned with the "inner life", initially the artist's, but as the viewer "attends" to the paintings Robert hopes these powerful pictures will engage the viewer's deepest intuitions and feelings, their reasoning, memories and experience, so that the painting resonates with the soul. This is central to understanding Robert's work.
The French mystic, Weil wrote, "In everything which gives us the pure, authentic feeling of beauty, there is, as it were, an incarnation of God in the world."
Since moving to Oxfordshire in 2010 Robert devotes much of his time to painting. He has led many seminars and conducted Quiet Days on art and spirituality; his work has been shown at several religious communities.
Robert Wright has held eleven successful solo exhibitions in London, Guildford, Lincoln, Oxford and Essex and five shared exhibitions in Hereford, Norfolk and Oxford. Robert was the Conference Artist at the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland's Ninth General Meeting and Conference in 2012. In 2013 he contributed two paintings to an important exhibition – Risen- at the Piano Nobile Gallery in London and Monnow Valley Arts in Herefordshire.
More recently he has been much in demand to lead Lent Courses, Quiet Days and seminars exploring connexions between art and spirituality. His paintings are held in private collections throughout the UK, France, Holland and America.
The Reverend Canon Wright LVO was, until his retirement in 2010, the Sub-Dean, Archdeacon of Westminster and Canon of Westminster Abbey, and the Rector of St. Margaret's Church (in the lee of the Abbey) as well as the Speaker's Chaplain in the House of Commons dealing with MPs and acting as chaplain to 14,000 pass holders including working with people of other faiths in the Palace of Westminster. On his retirement he was appointed Canon Emeritus.