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Planet Narnia. The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis

This is an on-going project which takes inspiration from the planets as understood in Medieval cosmology and imagination, and the seven books of Narnia which were each inspired by the seven planets (as discovered by Michael Ward, author of the excellent ‘Planet Narnia’.)

Paintings by Rose Strang. Talk by Michael Ward (author of Planet Narnia. The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis).

The paintings were exhibited at the Demarco Gallery, Summerhall, Edinburgh in September 2019, the exhibition launch was accompanied by a talk by Michael Ward.

Michael Ward, Rose Strang, Demarco Gallery September 2019

Richard Demarco and Michael Ward

Richard Demarco and Michael Ward

 

 

 

 

 

(We hope to take this exhibition to Oxford in 2020. Any updates will be available when confirmed).

 

Read on for more information about the project …

About the exhibition and ‘Planet Narnia’ …

In September 2019 the Demarco Gallery presented an exhibition of new paintings by Rose Strang and hosted an accompanying talk by Dr Michael Ward.

(Photos courtesy of Devo Cutler-Rubenstein http://devoronpix.com . http://www.datingyourcharacter.com)

The paintings were inspired by Michael Ward’s book ‘Planet Narnia’, a study of C.S. Lewis’ ‘Chronicles of Narnia’.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), the author of the Narnia stories, published in the 1950s, described the seven planets of the medieval cosmos as “spiritual symbols of permanent value”. Lewis wrote a great deal about the planets in his work as scholar at the University of Oxford and then the University of Cambridge where he was Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature from 1954 to 1963. Dante and Chaucer are among the major English writers of the Middle Ages to make extensive use of the seven heavens in their poetry.

Lewis’ seven ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ are structured so as to embody and express these seven “spiritual symbols”. Michael Ward discovered this link in the course of his PhD research at the University of St Andrews. His book ‘Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis’ [Oxford University Press 2007] presents his findings, as does the BBC television documentary, ‘The Narnia Code’ [2009].

When artist Rose Strang discovered Michael Ward’s work, she was inspired by Lewis’ fascination for these seven “spiritual symbols” and decided to produce her own paintings depicting the atmosphere and influences of each planet. These paintings will now be shown in this exhibition at the Demarco Archive at Summerhall.

Associated events

An event was also held as part of the exhibition, with a reading by Dr Charles Stephens, digital animation by Adam Brewster and cello performance by Atzi Muramatsu. View their performances here …

A response to the Last Battle