Angels and Dirt

Robert Dingley

‘One can find,’ wrote Stanley Spencer, ‘interesting and very nice things in dustbins and incinerators.’ Ferreting about among rubbish heaps struck him as ‘a distinctly entertaining and elevating pastime’ and the beads, scraps of china and old books he disinterred ‘really satisfied my highest thoughts’. Sustenance of a less elevated kind was provided by the discovery, in an incinerator, of ‘a whole bevy of unopened tins of bully beef in good condition’ on which the artist feasted for a fortnight.

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