Archives for posts with tag: stained glass
A hot air balloon near Bournemouth beach

A hot air balloon near Bournemouth beach

The past 12 months have been fairly busy for me; I switched flats, got engaged, passed my driving test and started a new job. As well as these milestones, the highlights of the year for me were watching the Winter Olympics in February, visiting Norway in May, and continuing to be inspired by so many things, from window worshipping in Kent, to viewing incredible war art for the centenary, getting creative with my face, and nomadic felines on film.

I’m not sure what 2015 will bring, and I haven’t made any plans so far, but I hope to up my blog posts and go on a few more adventures.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog. I appreciate the comments and follows so much. Have a great 2015 x

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Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a very long time: I went to church. I was there for worship but my deity was Marc Chagall, and I had come to admire his stained glass windows in All Saints’ Church in the quaint English village of Tudeley in Kent.

All Saints’ was blessed with 12 windows, meaning every angle of the small church has been decorated by the Russian artist. It is the only church in the world to have all of its stained glass created by Chagall. He designed the windows over a period of ten years in France, and the last window was fitted in 1985 (the first was fitted in 1967).

Ten of the windows are blue-toned, typical of Chagall’s glass. The remaining two are golden. The windows are of varying sizes, the piece de resistance being the huge religious depiction above the altar, with Christ displayed at the top.

I was lucky enough to visit on a very sunny day, allowing the windows to be seen at their full potential. They were resplendent, and the reflections of the vivid colours danced on the walls. If I lived closer I might have to join the congregation.

During my recent house move I uncovered a host of items that have been in the family for years, yet I realised I knew nothing about them. After many questions to family members and some internet research, I have found out a little more about these objects. I hope you find them interesting.

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This child’s tea set belonged to my late maternal grandmother and I believe it is from the 1930s, although it could be slightly earlier as it’s not dated. I’m not sure how many pieces were in the original set but I have two cups and saucers, a teapot and a sugar bowl. The blue and white porcelain is marked ‘Real Staffordshire Willow HA & Co Ltd’, Staffordshire being at the forefront of British pottery for centuries.

The county of Staffordshire is naturally rich in clay, lead and coal, and is the home of Wedgwood, Moorcroft and Royal Doulton. It is said that the term ‘potholes’ (those annoying divots in the road) was coined after potters in the area dug up the roads in search of clay.

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A silver cross, which I imagine was worn on a pendant, from the 1960s. It seems fairly standard but what looks like a gemstone in the centre of the cross is in fact a magnifying glass. When you hold it up to the light you can read the Lord’s Prayer, printed on a minute piece of parchment. I don’t think that this type of cross is unique, but I had never heard of it before.

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I have been using this bottle opener for years but had given little thought to where it came from. Apparently it belongs to my Dad and was purchased in Greece in the 1970s. As you can see it is double-sided, with an owl on one side and a sort of peacock/floral design on the other. I think it’s rather fetching.

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Another curio from abroad. This small dish was purchased in the 1970s from either Spain or Portugal – a gift from my great aunt to her sister (my late grandmother). I really like the material and the effect it gives to the outside of the bowl. I’m less enamoured by the fish pattern but find the blue colour quite striking. I use it to store small items in my bathroom, such as kirby grips (or bobby pins if you’re American).

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The last item I have to show you is the most modern – from the early 2000s. My younger brother fashioned this stained glass wall hanging in art class at high school, but I think you could potentially wear it as a necklace as it’s quite small. It appears to be deco inspired and I love the black and blue colours together. I am really keen on stained glass as an art form, especially that of Tiffany and Chagall.

If anyone knows more about any of the first four items or has their own collection to share then I’d love to hear from you.

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On bank holiday Monday I visited the Chagall: Modern Master exhibition at Tate Liverpool. Chagall’s art is owned by many different galleries and museums throughout Europe and the US, and it is the first collective exhibition of his work in 15 years.

Born Moyshe Shagal in Vitebsk, Russia (now Belarus) in 1887, Marc Chagall’s art was steeped in Russian folklore and Hasidic tradition, even after he had arrived in Paris and was drawn to cubism. As well as his associations with cubism and fauvism, he has connections with der Blaue Reiter and German Expressionism.

Chagall is as equally famed for his impressive murals, theatre sets and beautiful stained glass as he is for his paintings. All Saints Church in Tudeley, Kent, has a complete set of stained glass windows by Chagall, the only set in the UK.

One of my favourite paintings in the exhibit is the Grey House, or La Maison Grise (1917) (inspired by Vitebsk), which you can see here: http://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssen/ficha_obra/445. I am also very drawn to Le Saltimbanques dans la Nuit (1957), which translates literally as Clowns at Night (I believe this is privately owned.) The circus was a recurring theme in his work.

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{Accompanying guidebook, included in ticket price}

As photographs were not allowed, I have included some images from the guidebook.

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{Probably Chagall’s most famous work: I and the Village (1911), which is owned by MoMA)}

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{Performance of Mazel Tov at the State Jewish Chamber Theatre, Moscow in 1921. Costumes and décor by Marc Chagall.
I can’t believe how much this looks like the Cabinet of Dr Caligari!}

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{This is a photograph of a postcard I purchased in the gift shop. It is entitled Paris Through the Window (1913) and can usually be found at the Guggenheim in New York}

Vivid, expressive and vivacious, Chagall’s work continues to charm and delight, despite the criticisms that he brought little to the art history table.

On a wall in Tate Liverpool, a quote by Picasso summarises the exhibition effectively: “When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is.”

Tickets for the exhibition cost £10 for an adult and can be viewed until 6th October 2013.

Tate Liverpool is open daily
http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool