New glass artwork will reduce draughts at St John’s Church, Silverdale, Lancashire

John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley, is to lead a Service of Dedication on Sunday 16 February (10.15) to the new artwork “Revelation” in St Johns Church, Silverdale, designed and created by glass artist Sarah Galloway.

Sarah Galloway St Johns Siverdale

Sarah Galloway St Johns Siverdale

The St John’s PCC commissioned the artwork because the church’s tall west Tower was susceptible to draughts. The purpose of the new glass screen is to decrease the volume of air within the church so as to improve comfort levels for users. After The Friends of St John began fundraising, in 2011 architects Blackett-Ord Conservation Architecture, based in Appleby-in-Westmorland, commenced on site research and monitoring. A temporary plastic screen was installed in order to carry out airflow modelling exercises and the extensive experiments undertaken by the architects indicated that a glazed screen would make both a significant contribution to thermal comfort within the church whilst reducing heating costs.

When designing the 6m x 2.5m glass screen Sarah Galloway was inspired by themes relating to Genesis, whilst also referencing the local countryside in a semi-abstractive manner. Exploring Revelation 21:1 and the “.. water of the river of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the thrown of God and either side of the river, the tree of life…” Sarah has interpreted these words as a border: the layout of the work concentrates tree and water motives around the edge and bottom of the glazing, expressing the design using deep sandblasting to create lines of texture on both sides of the toughened 15mm glass.

After the many months of planning and the complexities involved installing the artwork, the Vicar of St Johns, Canon Paul Warren, is very pleased with the end results. “Sarah’s artwork looks splendid. I’ve found it fascinating to observe the design in different lights and at different times of day. There’s often something new to discovered”.

Glass artworks
Artist Sarah Galloway has designed and created many glass artworks across the UK. Working from her studio in Pilling, Lancashire, Sarah creates glass artworks for both religious and secular buildings. In recent years she has designed and made the windows for Sunfields Methodist Church in Blackheath and West Leigh Baptist Church in Essex as well as creating glass artworks for Blackburn town centre and Blackpool Victoria Hospital. She has made artworks for clients including Sunseeker International Yachts based in Poole, Dorset and The Daffodils Hotel and Spa, Grasmere, Cumbria.

Recently in the headlines after the public showing in Lancaster of the Silverdale Hoard, one of the largest collections of Viking silver ever found in Britain unearthed in 2011, Silverdale is a picturesque village nestling on the shores of Morecambe Bay on the Lancashire-Cumbria border. At the heart of the community, St John’s Church is lively and well used. Completed in 1856 the Grade 2 listed church was designed by prominent Manchester architects Ball and Elce, who produced some of the most innovative buildings of the time and who worked closely with the sculptor J.J. Millson who carved the statue of St John the Evangelist beneath the church’s imposing Tower. Designed in the decorative style, the stained glass in the West window is by Shrigley and Hunt of Lancaster, whilst either side two modern windows by Linda Watson, “The Creation” (2006) and “The Resurrection” also by Shrigley and Hunt and dedicated in 1972 add to the glass scheme.

For more information contact:
Alan Morris (Sarah Galloway Glass) m: 07831 130 633 w: 01253 799104
info@sarahgallowayassociates.co.uk
http://www.sarahgallowayassociates.co.uk

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New art gallery in Plaistow church

The Tower Gallery in Plaistow officially opened its first exhibition, Art Arising, on Thursday evening 3 October. Nearly 100 people attended the opening, including Councillors Brian Collier, Marie Collier and Kay Scoresby.

Tower  Gallery photo 2Created in the east tower of the historic Plaistow Memorial Church building, the gallery is a partnership between Memorial Community Church and Rosetta Art Centre, which has curated this inaugural exhibition of 63 works by 16 local Newham artists. The project is supported by grants from Community First Canning Town North and Let’s Get the Party Started.

Plaistow Memorial Church has received funding from the National Churches Trust over the last two years to help fund major repairs and improvements, including improving access and repairing crumbling brickwork.

Sanaz Amidi, Director of Rosetta Art Centre said:
“Rosetta are proud to have collaborated with Memorial Church to transform their tower to offer an alternative contemporary art gallery to platform the exciting, bold and diverse work by Newham`s talented creative community! We look forward to a continued relationship to ensure our artists have access to a range of opportunities to empower them and acknowledge the important role arts and culture plays in the continued regeneration of the area.”

The exhibition is free and is open until 20 December from 11 am – 2 pm on Tuesdays-Fridays, 1 -3 pm on Saturdays and on the first Thursday of each month from 6-9 pm.

The gallery makes use of the tower stairwell to display the artwork rising up to four floors, which means there is no step-free access. However a video tour was shown at the opening event and will be available to view by arrangement.
Tower Gallery is located at Memorial Community Church, 395 Barking Road, Plaistow E13 8AL.

The exhibiting artists are: Anne Brown, Antonietta Torsiello, Daksha Amin, David Ross, Dimitrios Oikonomou, Frank Jennings, Karen Colley, Klaus Pinter, Mairi Bugg, Michael John Wills, Parvin Khoshdel, Rayna Nadeem, Ricardo di Ceglia, Ricky Aitchinson, Steve Marriott, Tim Timewell.
For more information see the gallery’s Facebook page  telephone Rosetta Art Centre on 0207 511 1117 or email development@memorialcc.org

Timothy Betjeman at All Saints, Margaret Street

In a guest post, artist Timothy Betjeman writes about his new paintings of All Saints Church, Margaret Street in London’ s West End.

I was born and lived most of my life in America, so I have come to know England, and especially London, where I now live, through painting parts of it over the last seven years. 

Timothy Betjeman All Saints Margaret Street

Timothy Betjeman All Saints Margaret Street

It is a frequent occurrence for me, as a primarily ‘plein air’ painter, to be working in a place that has caught my interest for whatever reason, and to discover that its history at some point entwined with that of my grandfather, Sir John Betjeman, especially if the place happens to be a church.  All Saints , Margaret Street was no exception.  When I began painting at All Saints, I was quickly informed by a parishioner who took note of my surname that he had enthused about the church in a series on Victorian Architecture for the BBC in 1970.

I somewhat wished I’d discovered it myself—and it really does feel like a discovery, hidden like a treasure between tall buildings, invisible save for its spire until one is practically in its courtyard.  But my jealousy soon gave way to a comforting thought, that this building, designed for a purpose by William Butterfield in 1850, and still used for that purpose today, could attract our mutual admiration.

I was very young when my grandfather died, so I never really knew him.  When I come upon buildings like All Saints, that I know he touched, or was touched by, and if I feel the same thing, there is a sense of knowing him through that.  I think that my engagement with these places develops in a different way than it did for him, but the initial attraction to great architecture and the atmosphere it affords is a major source for me as an artist as it was for him.

I liked the ritual of working in the church

My introduction to All Saints Margaret Street was in 2012 by my friend Alistair Fletcher who brought me to a service there, promising it had a very good choir (it did), and urged me to do a painting of its eccentric interior.  After the service I spoke to the vicar, Alan Moses, and he was enthusiastic about the idea, so I started showing up 3 or 4 times a week.  I would set up my easel in the morning near the back of the church and work through the 1:10 Mass, and pack up when the electric lights came on just before Evening Prayer.  I liked the ritual of working in the church so much that I ended up doing ten paintings instead of one, and a series of etchings as well; so I spoke to the vicar again at the end of it all, and we decided to do a show.

Timothy Betjeman, All Saints Margaret Street

Timothy Betjeman, All Saints Margaret Street

I’m accustomed to painting on the street, where people are moving about me very quickly and their movement must be integrated with the relative stillness of the architectural forms.  Painting at All Saints was unique in that the dynamic was reversed.  The people (and usually there were one or two, even between Masses) stayed perfectly still while the wild zigzags and gilded decoration on the walls and floor seemed to turn on and off and shift with the light as it came in sudden streaks through the high chancel windows.  I spent a long time studying the way natural light came in and competed with the invented light of the designs covering the inside of the church.  There was a kind of weather system to the place that related to but was wholly different from the one outside.  One feels this as soon as one enters the dark quiet of the church and inhales.

In the course of the 6 months or so that I spent painting at All Saints, and the time I have spent there since, I am very thankful for how kindly I was received by the priests, wardens and all of the parishioners.  It is a rare place, and truly a living church.

Timothy Betjeman At All Saints’  exhibition, will be open daily (12 – 6pm) from  22 – 27 October at 7 Margaret Street, London W1W 8JG.   A portion of the sales will benefit All Saints Church

More information about the exhibition 

More about All Saints,  Margaret Street

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