Monday, 22 November 2010

Time for a stained glass renaissence

Our village church has relatively recently had a new stained glass window fitted (the one pictured) and it has made me realize what an undervalued artform stained glass is.

If this had been an ordinary painting, hung on the wall, I would have glanced at it once as I passed it, but probably not looked again. But in the stained glass form, time after time I've stopped and looked. The glowing colours just cry out to be stared at (much more so than in the photograph). When you think about it, this is a kind of art with so much going for it - it doesn't just deal with image and colour, it deals with raw light. This is painting with light, and a light the varies with time of day at that - it can be stunning.

Back in Victorian times there was huge amount of bad stained glass produced (and some excellent stuff - quite well known artists like the Pre-Raphaelite Burne Jones indulged), which I think gave stained glass a fusty, old fashioned image.

I know there has been some excellent modern stained glass in churches and cathedrals, but I think it's time the art form broke out and became mainstream. Let's see more excellent stained glass in civic centres and shopping malls. This is glorious art that has mass appeal. Wake up, art world!

No comments:

Post a Comment