Glass act: nine glass artists create new works within Salisbury Cathedral’s medieval surrounds

Rebecca Newnham
Running until November this year, 'Reflections' sees nine internationally renowned artists create spectacular site-specific works within Salisbury Cathedral, based around the theme of 'reflection'. Pictured: Launch by Rebecca Newnham
(Image credit: Ash Mills)

When visiting Salisbury Cathedral, it's hard not to be awestruck by the way light filters through its towering stained glass windows. While some date back to the 13th century others are more recent – like Gabriel Loire's striking Prisoners of Conscience window, which was installed in 1980. With this rich tradition it seems fitting that the early English Gothic Cathedral should stage an exhibition of glass art.

Running until November this year, 'Reflections' sees nine internationally renowned artists create spectacular site-specific works within the Cathedral, based around the theme of 'reflection'. Scattered around the Cathedral’s grounds, both inside and out, the works form a visual response to the building’s dramatic medieval architecture.

Curated by Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral’s arts advisor, alongside Rebecca Newnham, a sculptor who works with glass, the exhibition showcases a diverse range of approaches and production techniques.

Outside, ambitiously scaled pieces like Newnham’s arched Launch sculpture, with its plumage-like glass mosaic skin, frame the Cathedral’s majestic exterior, while inside Livvy Fink’s phosphorescent kiln-cast glass sculptures and New Zealand artist Galia Amsel’s swooping fibre optic glass tubes mysteriously glow in the shadows.

The cathedral, which has long tradition of hosting exhibitions, uses art to communicate a wider message to its congregation and visitors. ’I have always been fascinated by glass,' says Creswell. 'It is a material to look through in order to see out. Its intrinsic purity captures the imagination. The alchemical transformation of sand into a precious, crystal clear, frozen form commands respect and reverence. Like architecture, glass divides light and space and in addition glass has magical qualities beyond its physicality.’

Sound Parabola by Rebecca Newnham

Given its rich tradition of stained glass, it seems fitting that the early English Gothic Cathedral should stage an exhibition of glass art. Pictured: Sound Parabola by Rebecca Newnham

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Incandescent by Amy Cushing

The cathedral, which has a long tradition of hosting exhibitions, uses art to communicate its wider message to its congregation and visitors. Pictured: Incandescent by Amy Cushing

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Connection by Galia Amsel

Creswell explains, ’I have always been fascinated by glass. It is a material to look through in order to see out. Its intrinsic purity captures the imagination.' Pictured: Connection by Galia Amsel

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Livvy Fink 

Unititled by Livvy Fink 

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Livvy Fink

Unititled (detail) by Livvy Fink 

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Inhale Exhale by Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson

Inhale Exhale by Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Home. The Known Universe by Sabrina Cant

Home. The Known Universe by Sabrina Cant

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Home. The Known Universe (detail) by Sabrina Cant

Home. The Known Universe (detail) by Sabrina Cant

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Emperor to Crown by Sylvie Vandenhoucke

Emperor to Crown by Sylvie Vandenhoucke

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Lost Histories (detail) by Sylvie Vandenhoucke

Lost Histories (detail) by Sylvie Vandenhoucke

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Devotion by Louis Thompson

Devotion by Louis Thompson

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

Pictured left: Sailing on a river of crystal light, into a sea of dew. Right: Devotion (detail). both by Louis Thompson

Pictured left: Sailing on a river of crystal light, into a sea of dew. Right: Devotion (detail). both by Louis Thompson

(Image credit: Ash Mills)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit Salisbury Cathedral's website (opens in new tab)

Photography: Ash Mills