A Stained Glass Scarab.
Private collection 90cm x 60cm approx.
Installed at the Apostolic Nunciature, Parkside, Wimbledon SW19 5NE
The brief was to make a new set of leaded windows, to replace the plain glazing in the front of house reception room at the Apostolic Nunciature’s House, I chose a beautiful ‘Curio’ glass, a sort of extreme reamy molded glass, which has since gone out of production at Hartley Wood factory in Northumberland, they had this a last pile of Curio left. It transformed the feeling of the room and improved the look of the house from the roadside.
An additional request was to make these two heraldic panels for the Nuncio’s private chapel. Again I used the Curio glass to inset the main images. the red and gold heraldry is the arms for Pope Pius XI and the blue shield, the arms for Pope Jean Paul II.
My intention has been to create the window keeping predominantly to blues (using mostly flashed and streaky glass) but punctuating parts of the window with some jewel like points of other colour. Depicted are the figures of Christ and John the Baptist standing in a pool and in the background is water, some falling from above. Some plant-life foliage and fruit, possibly date palms, are suggested to give an impression of bountiful richness in an oasis setting of the desert. The Dove of the Holy Ghost is emanating light, in the centre above the figures.
With the use of the glass-paint and toned glass the figures should appear as though set against a strong source of bright light and reflections of the water. The traditional techniques of fired vitreous paint and silver stain for yellows, combined with acid etching will be used to create image. .
T Moore & J Fisher, St’s Simon & Jude’s Church RC, Streatham
When I was working on this commission I arranged an appointment to visit the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery where a curator retrieved the very drawings made by Hans Holbein the Younger of Saints Thomas Moore, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and John Fisher,Bishop of Rochester, who were both executed by King Henry VIII for High treason. “The effect of the treason was denying the king to be Supreme Head of the Church of England, according to a statute, The Act of Supremacy, made in the last session of Parliament”.
I then also visited the Tower of London where the then incumbent Governor of the Tower, Major-General Christopher Tyler. personally took me to the cells where Thomas Moore and John Fisher had been held captive before their executions. It seemed important to me to get as much a real sense of the last days of the lives of these men whilst making the window.
Major Tyler told me he was a Catholic and was in fact the first Catholic Governor at the Tower since the Reformation.