It is interesting to look at this work again after 16 years.
One of the many lovely thing about glass is that it ages very slowly.
The window is as was, so is the building. Things made to endure. Sadly, we age much quicker.
Often, when I see modern windows form the last twenty, thirty years,
I look to see how they now feel in their environment. Sometimes, things which
looked great at the time they were installed, now look awkward either because of the the techniques
used or the design concept
which was maybe fashionable at the time. Even the glass world has its fashions as new
techniques and approaches become possible. My own philosophy for work in historical buildings
is that it is better to be appropriate rather than fashionable or modern for its own sake.
For this project, I was asked to be modern, asked to do something to set this work apart from all
the other windows in the building, this I gladly undertook.
Does it work?
At the time I made this window, I was working on combining text and symbolism in some integrated way.
It was appropriate for the projects I used this concept on. The University of Strathclyde Windows
and the Piping Centre Windows
. It was during the installation of the University of Strathclyde Windows
that I was approached about making the window for the cathedral. This way of working is technically
extremely difficult to achieve with each glass piece being acid etched
many times before the subtle glass painting and silver staining is applied.
So much for that but, does it work?
For me, it is difficult to look objectively at something that you work on so
intensively and over a long period of time. When first installed, usually all
I see are the flaws, there are always flaws. It takes a long time and many other
projects before I can look objectively at a work that I have made.
When I look at this work, I see several areas I would like to have made
differently, but again, for me that is always the case. It is probably good
I am not a painter, nothing would ever get out of the studio. Being a
commissioned artist means that you have to let go, and meet deadlines and installation dates.
For goodness sake John, answer the question.
Honestly, I think it does. It sits happily if distinctively there, it would have been great if it had been a work on its own
a main window in a transept rather in the middle of a row of differing styles. It shines out at you
as you enter the building.
It holds the light beautifully, It is certainly unique within this building.
What I see more than ever before is how the symbols are
submerged within the text. Neither has priority. This was my original concept,
but somehow over the years, I have tended to see the symbolism as dominating,
however sitting here opposite the window today, I see the fusion. It is not,
never was and never will be, an easy window to understand visually. The symbols and the text are
interwoven. An extremely complex and multi-layered work, both symbolically and technically, it
is not a scene but a concept.
To mark the millennium, it was to be markedly different from the other
Within the protestant tradition the people were able to read the “WORD”, to be allowed to examine the text in their own language
by themselves. —The WORD” is not interpreted by a bishop or a priest.
At the top of the central panel, the text is “In the beginning was the word..."
The main theme being the parable if the sower. The other texts are related to the given theme of “GROWTH”. A full description of the
theme of the project can be seen under the project index
The other major theme that was introduced through Christianity and therefore appropriate to this Millennium Window, is the Trinity. This is a Trinity window.
The colours were suggested by Historic Scotland. What is noteworthy here, is that white is used as a colour rather than simply a background.
Does it work? I think it does, I think it is as relevant today as it has ever been.
It is interesting to watch people coming to look at this work, on this day, mostly they seem to be German,
nice, I made the window in Germany.