Be With Me
BACK GROUND TO THE COMMISSION
Between 2016 and 2017 the clerestory windows of St George’s Cathedral were brought to life through a design by Mr Ian Dixon of Perth Art Glass, Entitles “Be With Me”.
Dr John Shepherd AM, Dean of Perth from 1990 until 2014, commenced the project in 2003 and Said:
At the heart of the Christian faith is the idea that god is light, and that everything stems from that initial, uncreated, creative light.
The pointed arches, ribbed vaults, flying buttresses of Gothic architecture allowed ceilings to be raised to unprecedented heights so that as much light as possible could flood through the stained glass, and allow the building to assume the mystical essence of heaven.
The light streaming through the coloured windows creates walls of transcendent beauty which, with the movement of the sun in the sky, changes by course the interior of the church into gradually shifting waves of red, blue, green and golden light.
The beauty of the light inspires us to a contemplation of the beauty of the divine light. beauty is holy, and so holiness is in beauty; a beauty which leads our spirit towards the essence of all that is divine.
On 31 January 2016, 27 windows were blessed by the Very Reverend Richard Pengelley at Choral Eversong with 23 of the 27 windows installed during the subsequent two weeks.
Choral Evensong on 15 January 2017 saw a further 12 windows blessed, and these, along with the remaining four, were installed thereafter.
The project was completed with the final 12 windows blessed on Easter Day 2017 at Choral Evensong. The final panes of glass were installed the following week.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Since the establishment of Perth Art Glass in 1984, founder Ian Dixon has strived for success in both art and commerce.
Thirty years of devoted craftsmanship have culminated in some of the finest kiln formed and stained glass work available, both nationally and internationally.
Ian’s respectful and warm approach to business relations has earned him the pick of the finest stained and fusible glass the world has to offer, with Perth Art Glass housing the largest commercial supply in Western Australia.
this outlet allows for the creation and restoration of any and all stained glass artwork. Wether large, ecclesiastical masterworks, or small home improvements, Ian and his team provide the expertise of traditional craft with the beauty of modern glass.
Ian has afforded himself and his team the skills, the recourses and the desire required to approach any job with pride and precision.
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.