THE ROSE WINDOW:
REVISITED AND REIMAGINED
Opening: Friday, June 23rd from 7 – 10pm
Show runs from June 23rd – July 23rd
Open Wednesday – Saturday from 12-5pm
Rose windows have adorned European cathedrals for centuries. The art of stained glass windows peaked during the Middle Ages in Europe. The 12th century French Abbot Suger (1081-1151) is credited with building the Abbey Church of St. Denis, Paris, France, which is considered the first to be built in the Gothic style. Suger was particularly fond of stained glass; he thought that the light passing through or “natural light—or lux—was transformed into lumen, a holy, consecrated light. He considered that such light transformed again into illumination as it passed through one’s physical eye, elevating the mind and renewing the spirit.” These colourful windows were used to educate and preach in churches and cathedrals by illustrating passages from the Bible. The rose window found its origin in the Roman oculus (as seen in the Pantheon, for example). Through the centuries, the design of oculi was transformed by adding coloured glass, which was used to materialise the light, often overpoweringly, to empha- sise the dominion of the Church. Rose window designs have fascinated glass artists from the Medieval period to today and have followed architectural trends through history.
The exhibition The Rose Window Revisited and Reimagined offers an excellent opportunity to look at three different techniques of working with glass: stained glass for Seaton and Lynch, fused glass for Speck and mosaic for Highley. Each artist explores different ideas and concepts within their works, reimagining the rose windows in various ways. The group founded AGOG to encourage and support one another while working on common ideas or projects. They initiated The Rose Window Revisited and Reimagined as a group project working towards an exhibition. Starting with an actual rose window that each was to reinterpret or recreate on the scale and technique of their choice, they followed by creating others inspired by travels, nature, and life in general.
To kick start their projects, the group collaborated on one window, Hope Grows (2021), a six-petal window in an oak frame. Teresa Seaton and Siobhan Lynch created the stained- glass petal designs, while John Highley, John Martin, and Joe Speck each designed and produced two of the six circular inserts using their particular glass techniques. The artists wrote that Hope Grows “embraces a tradition of paying tribute to the abundance provided by nature that can commonly be found in folk traditions and mythological symbolism around the world.” Lynch’s contribution is found in her signature Celtic knot, while Seaton interjects three-dimensional features and twisted wires, which are an integral part of her art. As well both artists also use botanical elements. The designer of each round shape is easily recognisable by the technique: Highley’s mosaic of grapes in one and cherry blossoms in the other, Speck’s fused glass of yellow and red poppies and Martin’s painted glass of wheat with a sleeping mouse, and the other of red apples.
Taken from an excerpt written by:
Denis Longchamps, Curator
Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery
Unser Lieben Frauen Kirche, Bremen, Germany 2022 by Siobhan Lynch, 26” dia.
Strasbourg Cathedral by John Highley
Here Comes The Sun by Joe Speck
Spring Forsythia, 2020, by Teresa Seaton, Copper Foil and tinned copper wire, 24”dia.
No appointment necessary. If you would like to book a half hour gallery appointment please go here