News and events archive
New book on the stained glass at Lampeter available: March 2017
I collaborated with John Hammond on a new book about the stained glass at the Church of St Peter, Lampeter. The book was published by my imprint, Sulien Books.
The cover of the book features the image of Peter from the impressive west window by Wilhelmina Geddes, and is among her best works. This window is one of many stained glass windows at the church, which includes work by a number of nineteenth and twentieth century makers, such as Bell & Almond, Lavers & Barraud, Robert Newbery, Ninian Comper and Powell & Sons.
Copies of the book can be obtained from the church and are available from the Sulien Books website. A launch event was held in July.
Exhibition at the National Library of Wales 18 February – 10 June 2017
I co-curated an exhibition of medieval and early modern manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, as part of my work on 'The Cult of Saints in Wales' project.
In 2017, the Year of Legends, the exhibition remembers the stories of the saints that were once plentiful in medieval Wales, although many are forgotten today. The lives of these early saints, their genealogies, and poetry addressed to them, are preserved in manuscripts that are being exhibited at the National Library of Wales. This exhibition demonstrates the survival of medieval traditions about the holy men and women who represent an important part of Welsh cultural inheritance.
In addition to the manuscripts, there are other items from the National Library collection on display, and photographs of surviving medieval images of saints from my photographic archive. As well as co-writing some of the material with my colleague David Parsons, I also designed all of the interpretative material.
January 2017Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae: The Latin Lives of the Welsh Saints
Following the success of a recent funding application to the Arts and Humanities Research Council, my current project at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, 'The Cult of Saints in Wales', will be succeeded by a new project that begins in January 2017.
This new project is based at the University of Cambridge and will be run in collaboration with the Centre, led by Professor Paul Russell. The project continues the work of editing and translating medieval texts about saints in Wales, but turns our attention from Welsh-language texts to Latin ones.
The projects overlap for a few months, as the 'Cult of Saints in Wales' officially concludes in March. We are presently completing the interpretation for the forthcoming exhibition 'Chwedlau'r Seintiau' / 'Stories of the Saints' at the National Library of Wales, which opens in February.
November 2016Stained glass at Llanwenllwyfo
A new book about the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century stained glass at Llanwenllwyfo, in northern Anglesey, is the most ambitious book published to date by Sulien Books.
The text is primarily the work of the late J.O. Hughes and his wife Catherine Hughes, and their notes were prepared by Avril Lloyd for publication, who also oversaw the translation for a parallel Welsh text. The book provides an introduction to the church and its patrons, which also explains how the stained glass was acquired by the family. There are illustrations and notes for all of the main panels.
In addition, I added a section about the dating and attribution of the glass, which has been a subject of debate for the last thirty-five years or more. I also contributed an article about the sixteenth-century glass for the November issue (104) of Vidimus. Copies of the book, with parallel English and Welsh texts, can be obtained from the church or from the Sulien Books website.
November 2016Lectures for November
I have recently given lectures on stained glass in Shrewsbury and in Bangor. The lecture on 17 November at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery introduced David Evans and the early Gothic Revival in the first half of the nineteenth century. This was part of the accompanying programme of events organised by the Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery to coincide with the Margaret Rope exhibition. David Evans was also relevant to the talk in Bangor for the North West Wales Art Fund at Storiel, Bangor, on the 22 November 2016. He made the figures for the east window of Bangor Cathedral in 1840 and 1843 (see my blog post about this commission), and the talk provided an introduction to the stained glass in the churches of Bangor, including those recently closed.
October 2016Two Exhibitions
Oriel Sycharth, Wrexham: 10 October – 16 December 2016
Riverfront Art Gallery: 3 – 29 October 2016
This autumn I have participated in two group exhibitions, which opened in October. Both shows include new work based on the rood screen at the Church of All Saints, Gresford. I also spoke about the church at an event at Oriel Sycharth, with the poet Philip Gross, on 22 October, organised as part of the Curious Travellers project. The project is researching Romantic-period accounts of journeys into Wales, and I have also been contributing occasional posts for the Curious Travellers website.
September 2016Society for Glass Technology Conference
8 September 2016
I participated in this year's History and Heritage section of the SGT Centenerary conference.
The paper considered the ways in which some of the most influential modernist stained glass artists have been influenced by medieval stained glass and sculpture. The medievalism of Victorian Gothic Revival stained glass has been well appreciated, but a continuing fascination with stained glass of an earlier medieval period by artists such as John Piper, Lawrence Lee and Wilhelmina Geddes has created competing medievalisms that have coloured our appreciation of much nineteenth- and early twentieth-century stained glass.
Allotment Gallery, Greenbelt Festival
29 August 2016
I brought a small selection of work to the festival for a temporary show, which included images based on the panels from the screen at Llananno as well as photographs of stained glass windows from churches in Wales.