The Idea behind Westminster Abby’s Stained Glass Window


I write this blog about the ideas behind my Westminster Abbey stained glass art project. So you reads can get a better understanding of my though process.

Around 1990 the team at Westminster Abbey became concerned they were running out of space for writers’ plaques.  They decided to commission a stained glass window which would incorporate plaques as part of the design.  In 1991, they held a competition for this project from a short-list of about six artists. The competition was won by myself, Graham Jones.

When preparing the first designs for the competition I went to view the stained glass at York Minster to see if I could learn and absorb something about the blend of pattern and abstraction that is so remarkable about some of the glass there.

I decided very early on to keep the traditional border of a gothic stained glass window but to interpret this in a slightly playful contemporary way.

The basic geometry of rising central circles and pairs of diamond shaped squares slowly emerged as I experimented with different ways of incorporating the required plaques into a contemporary window. Underlying these central formal shapes are the roots of this rising column of swirling primary colours that emerge as the circles and squares give way.

Please explore the images to take a closer a this Westminster Abbey Stained Glass Art Project.

Stained Glass Artist