... the stained glass windows from Canterbury Cathedral, the new Millennium window in Durham Cathedral then the new: a book made of glass ...
|Durham Cathedral Millennium Window
c/o Doc Brown's site - photos of the NE
The unlikely one – nine books of glass ... by Olafur Eliasson, an Icelandic-Danish artist, who founded the Institute for Spatial Experiments.
He brought the sun to London, waterfalls to New York City and a rainbow to see the world through at Aarhus, Denmark ...
I saw an excerpt on Channel 4 news, and hope that you can all get to see the video and it’s not just for the British market: it blew my mind ...
|Two of Eliasson's glass books
c/o Channel 4 News site
... glass pages each nearly a metre high, twelve per book, hand-blown by some of the last European craftsmen blowing glass this way ... what vision ...
Eliasson says: “I love books, but I’m not afraid of that. In my experience, the printed book has been taking on its own pride. The kind of paper used matters, typography matters, books are books again.”
|Glass pages c/o Channel 4 News
As for his glass books with some pages cut by concentric circles: “I’ve cut holes in them, but it’s not a void. Looking through the holes, you’re reading the page you’re about to read soon, and it’s about what is about to happen and what has happened.
“When you read a great novel, at the moment the novel starts to read you, you think ‘I know that feeling’. I’m interested in the moment when the narrative becomes a producer of reality.”
|Further information in Vimeo -
with a video too: c/o Vimeo site
These light filled glass books look different depending on the time of day, where the light that reaches them, where the “reader” stands, what’s reflected on them.
Eliasson in the video says ... “the thing is a great novel, or great book, or great work of art ... shows there is a value where we have forgotten to look for one ...”
Leather bound glass books ... how do you move them when they are distributed to the nine museums?!
|Canterbury Cathedral - the 12th C 'Choir'
12th century Canterbury Cathedral stained glass artworks – how and why are these moved from their setting fifty feet up (17 metres) in the windows of perhaps the most famous Christian Cathedral in the world – to Los Angeles?
I could say ‘of all places’ – but the answer lies in the name of the Museum – the J Paul Getty Museum ... the windows are the highlight of an exhibition “Canterbury and St Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister” open until 2nd February 2014 ...
... when they will travel once again to the Cloisters Museum and Gardens in New York City for a Spring showing.
|Jared: detail - c/o Getty
Museum - and
These beautiful four-foot panels of stained glass – incredible masterpieces of medieval English art that have graced the storied magnificent Cathedral for more than eight centuries ...
... will be an unprecedented and extraordinary opportunity to experience the majesty and romance of Canterbury by being able to see these windows in all their glory up close.
The windows depict imposing, near life-sized patriarchs of the Old Testament, including Noah and Abraham, from a series representing the Ancestors of Christ.
Alongside the windows ... the St Albans Psalter (circa 1130) is also on loan from the Cathedral Library in Hildesheim, Germany.
|David as Musician (detail) 1120-1130
at the J Paul Getty Museum, LA
Tempura and Gold on parchment
c/o Hildesheim Library
Both exhibits of these works of art are only possible because of conservation projects – to the sandstone fabric of Canterbury Cathedral and its windows, to rebinding the Psalter, which has been unbound for a facsimile project, and will need to be restored.
Together these two bodies of works offer visitors an unprecedented chance to study the innovations of 12th century English painting on a monumental and miniature scale ...
... the fully modelled and articulated figures, full resolution colours and then the elaborately patterned border decorations that characterise English Romanesque art.
To travel – the windows were wrapped, rewrapped, surrounded by foam, boxed, then wrapped, rewrapped, surrounded by foam, boxed – well you get the idea ...
... they arrived safely – but the unknown part ... did they fly (were they flown?!) ... or did they go by sea ... did they go individually or all together at once ... so far so good – the Getty Museum is thrilled with their catch!
|The top of the window showing us
St Cuthbert's journey c/o Doc Brown's site
Then our third story – the Millennium Window in Durham Cathedral ... tells the story of St Cuthbert (c 634 – 687) from his humble beginnings ... to his Bishopric on Lindisfarne, the pilgrimage with his body, before his ultimate enshrinement in Durham.
The lower panels reflect the local industries ... glass blowing, ship building, chemicals and car manufacturing ...
|The lower panels depicting Durham's more recent
history - c/o Doc Brown's site
... the link to shipping, the iconic Tyne Bridge, railway engineering (including Stephenson’s 1825 ‘Locomotion’) and coal mining, although this no longer occurs in Co Durham.
The lower panels show a computer and printout; the 12th century monk Simeon’s account of the removal of the shrine of St Cuthbert from Chester le Street (to the Cathedral); the Miners’ Dispute of 1892 and its resolution ...
... while the last panel reflects the pastoral scenes and rural nature of County Durham and its surroundings ... and shows how important that connection is to the wider community.
|Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site - header
stained glass c/o DCWHS
... then the fact that in the 21st century we can remove centuries old stained glass – and ship it across that pond for peoples in America to see at floor level ... I would love to travel over and experience this exhibition in LA or NYC – what an opportunity ...
... then finally the latest artistic representation of a book – beautifully coloured glass pages that reflect so clearly a need to see how each page affects us ... a modern artist creating “A Window to Nature” ... which asks us to co-produce it ...
He cares about our shared responsibility to the planet ... “Little Sun” - shown in the Channel 4 video ... is a project distributing solar powered lamps to those around the world without electricity ...
One thing we still need is art ... art tells stories ... glass reminds us of our history, our artistic development ... and takes us into the future ...
Conservation and Opportunity at CanterburyCathedral – BBC Kent again this video may not work overseas .. but the J Paul Getty Museum tells all
MonumentalStained Glass – J Paul Getty Museum
Channel 4 News’ item on Celebrating Light Filled Books
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories