In my approach to the clerestory, the 51 windows are one continuous canvas, linking design elements and colour, flowing from one aperture to the next. the deign is inspired from the crucifixion as the floor plan of the cathedral is a typical cruciform. The Crucifix being the sign of Christ, the crucifixion being the ultimate sacrifice, and symbolic of the Christian Faith. It is also interesting to note that the design stage for these windows was during the Easter Period; this also influenced me in my design approach.
My aim is to create an atmosphere of colour and of changing light high in the clerestory that filters and softens as it cascades down into the Cathedral. Each panel is constructed using traditional leaded processes and antique glass in a contemporary manner. We have chosen this traditional process to maintain the integrity of the cathedral’s architecture; the stone apertures were originally designed for leaded glass therefore will not need to be modified in any way. The intensity of colour will be projected on the surrounding apertures as the sun passes over and around the Cathedral during the course of the day. During the evening when light does not transmit through the windows there will be a reflective quality from the white opal and dichroic coated glass giving a star like quality to the windows.
The colours selected are reflected in most of the existing windows but also have their own significance:
RED signifying the suffering and sacrifice of Christ;
varying shades of BLUE signifying hope, peace and love;
varying shade of GREEN signifying faith and the triumph of life, creating an uplifting experience for the viewer; and
threaded through the three main colours is WHITE and GOLD, alluding to the presence of God and the warmth of Heaven.
As you enter the Cathedral from the main western doors the first colour you are welcomed by is GOLD alluding to the presence of God and warmth of heaven. As you progress through the Nave varying shades of GREEN signifying faith and the triumph of life, varying shades of BLUE signifying hope, peace and love. as you approach the transepts RED signifying the suffering and sacrifice of Christ; and again varying shades of BLUE signifying hope, peace and love. Beyond the transepts into the Sanctuary we move back to GOLD alluding to the presence of God and warmth of Heaven. As you move through the cathedral there is an emphasis on the incline giving the feeling of an upward or uplifting passage.
Please note: Content has been taken directly from Saint George’s Cathedral “Be With Me” Clerestory Windows booklet.