As a student learning the art and craft of stained glass later in life, Jacqui is fascinated by the heritage, skills and treasures that are being passed down through time and place. Of particular significance are the forgotten names and hidden stories of women stained glass artists that flow through her inquisitive mind and out through her creative practice. Currently undertaking a Master by Research (MRes), these three pieces are an autoethnographical response to her findings, in answer to the question: To find and record examples of stained glass created by women artists and to consider whether their work is celebrated.
Title: ‘Thine be the Glory’: Female saints in gold pink salvage
St Margaret, patron saint of childbirth. Legend tells us she was swallowed by the Devil disguised as a dragon and she wrestled her way out of its stomach with her crosier. This is an analogy for the strength and resilience needed to overcome that which emotionally consumes us; pregnancy and childbirth, poor mental health, bereavement and, in my case, creating art.
St Mary Magdalene, patron saint of women. Recognised in art by the alabaster jar of ointment she carried to anoint Jesus’ dead body and her scant clothing, emphasising her status as a ‘fallen woman’. This piece replaces the false narrative upheld by the patriarchy that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute and gives her some of the attributes traditional Christian iconography reserves for the chaste, serene, subservient Virgin Mary; the glory, the halo, the mandorla (almond shaped aureola), because all women deserve respect without prejudice – our virtue is not in our vagina!
Materials: Both of these leaded pieces of architectural stained glass are traditionally painted, stained and enamelled using fragments of gold pink slab glass salvaged from the waste.
Title: Hidden, Forgotten, Invisible?
Inspired by the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, I have created a tribute in celebration of the female stained glass designers and makers of the 20th Century whose names are rarely mentioned and whose work gets overlooked and forgotten.
Materials: Traditionally painted slab glass and enamelled, laser and acid etched, plated red flash then leaded.