Photography and Design

Photography and design for books, leaflets and interpretative material.

Stained Glass Research

Links for research concerning stained glass in churches in Wales.

Saints' Cults in Wales

Two major research projects editing medieval Welsh and Latin texts about saints in Wales.

Detail of woodwork at Hafod.
Stained glass at Llanwenllwyfo.
Scene from the Life of St Winifrede, at Holywell.

Sulien Books

art and craft, ancient and modern

News and events

My first book published by Y Lolfa since Stained Glass from Welsh Churches is now available, and was launched at a small event at Cardiff Cathedral on 16 March. The book, Depicting St David, is a study of the imagery of Wales' patron saint, and shows different ways in which the saint has been depicted, both as a standing figure alone or with others, and sometimes in scenes depicting stories associated with David.

An article 'The Gothic Revival Character of Ecclesiastical Stained Glass in Britain' has also been recently published online as part of the 2019 issue of Folia Historiae Artium, published by the Commission on Art History of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Kraków.

Several talks planned for spring 2020 have been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as my exhibitions at St Davids Cathedral in May.

Funding for the 'Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae' project ended in December 2019, although I am now engaged part-time on an EU-funded Interreg project focusing on the Irish Sea ports. Ambitious plans to develop and co-ordinate the recording and cataloguing of stained glass in England have had to be shelved with the failure of several funding bids submitted in 2019.

 

Stained glass window at Llandaff Cathedral.Teiliau Tyddewi/The Tiles of St Davids

I have made a special new piece of work for the 2019 Art on the Faith Trail, based on one of the tile patterns from the medieval pavement in the presbytery of St Davids Cathedral. A set of sixteen ‘tiles’ were distributed across all of the churches taking part in the trail in Pembrokeshire, including the cathedral itself. The whole piece was then shown together with a new body of work, also based on the tiles at the cathedral, at an exhibition in the Cloister Gallery, St Davids Cathedral, 22 October – 4 November 2019. A book of the work was also published by Sulien Books to coincide with the exhibition.

Prior to this, I was invited to show the piece at Greenbelt Festival this year.

For more information about the project, visit the Teiliau Tyddewi/The Tiles of St Davids website. A book of the images is available from the Sulien Books website.

 

Stained glass window at Llandaff Cathedral.Stained Glass from Welsh Churches wins Mrs Foster Watson Memorial Gift

Four and a half years since Stained Glass from Welsh Churches was published, it has been awarded the Mrs Foster Watson Memorial Gift, awarded every five years to a member of staff of Aberystwyth University for published work that combines scholarship with general interest.

The assessors commented: 'It is a substantial work of pioneering scholarship, spanning the centuries. At the same time it explains the development of this specialist art-form and craft in terms that the wider audience of cultured readers will understand. It thus fits perfectly the criteria set for the competition and fully deserves the award'.

 

Stained glass window by C.E. Kempe at Newbridge-on-Wye.More than 7000 images of stained glass now on 'Stained Glass in Wales'

The 'Stained Glass in Wales' catalogue has been available online since 2011, having been developed as an offshoot of the 'Imaging the Bible in Wales' database of 2008.

I received two small grants this year to make changes and additions to the catalogue from the Kempe Society and the Glaziers Trust. The former enabled me to spend time adding work by C.E. Kempe and his studio, including work from churches in Barmouth, Carmarthen, Newbridge-on-Wye and Llangattock-Vibon-Avel. After some additional work adding stained glass at these churches by other makers, I checked the site statistics and noted that the total number of images of windows (including details) is now more than 7000. There are actually over 8500 images on the entire database, including non-stained glass material on the 'Imaging the Bible' site, and exterior views of churches shared by both sites.

The grant from the Glaziers Trust has allowed for the inclusion of CVMA numbering for windows in churches, thanks to the technical work of Nigel Callaghan. He has also been helping behind the scenes on some other small improvements. In addition, the Church in Wales kindly shared their list of churches in Wales, with associated grid references, links to their Church Heritage Cymru site and the Royal Commission's Coflein. I have been going through this list, preparing a long list of place-names and churches that we will bulk upload to the site, in the hope that future additions to the catalogue can be added a little more efficiently. I am grateful to the Church in Wales, who provided the funding for Nigel Callaghan to complete this work and facilitate links to Church Heritage Cymru.

 

 

Recent news and events    Recent talks

 

Research projects

I have been based at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies since 1999. For a brief summary of the projects that I have been involved in at the Centre, see my staff page.