Spencer is a British architect, furniture designer and artist: a pioneer of crafts in architecture and contemporary design inspired by nature. Observing nature through sketching and painting is vital to him. He is drawn to the mysticism of clouds, the power of mountains and the majesty of trees.
As a child growing up in Hong Kong, he sought nature by clambering over the granite boulders on the shoreline and watching the dragonflies flit over the water. He studied architecture at Cambridge University, and in 1990, founded his London-based architecture practice. Nature inspires his architecture, furniture and interiors, and painting is an extension of his energetic creativity.
Spencer paints with Chinese ink, watercolour and Jurassic clay. He is resourceful with natural materials found around him. He uses soil and minerals from rocks for pigment, lake, river or snow water, and clumps of moss, leaves or bundles of twigs as his paintbrush. Sometimes he uses his fingers and hands to paint directly onto the paper or canvas. These things help him connect with the landscape and bring texture and interest to his work.
Spencer’s paintings have become more abstract and expressionist as he reacts emotionally to what he sees in front of him. He is moved by the fragility of the natural world, and painting is his way of sharing these concerns.
Recent architectural work includes Daylesford Organic, Bamford Haybarn Spa and the multi-award winning Cotswold country hotel, the Wild Rabbit.