Finally!! Following over two years work (the first of which was taken up by the various design stages and the protracted process of gaining permission from the relevant concerned parties, including; the donor, the PCC, The Victorian Society, Blackpool Town Council, English Heritage, Blackburn Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Church Buildings Council!), our Light of The World Commission was finally completed and installed within its new home at All Hallows Church – Bispham, Lancashire, in March 2017.
Commissioned on behalf of the church thanks to a legacy donation by one of it’s parishioner’s, our brief was simply to produce a faithful a representation of William Holman Hunts 1853/54 painting of the same name. A principle condition of the brief was that the commission should reflect/compliment the very traditional period style of the churches extensive collection of Victorian & Edwardian stained glass. These include numerous examples by Shrigley & Hunt and a beautiful nativity window by the artist J.E. Nuttgens.
A primary design challenge faced from the outset was; how to make a stand alone image work within the configuration of a twin lancet (opening) window? Clearly we would have to add to Hunts original and our solution to this problem was to extend the background landscape into the right hand lancet and to include the original scripture from which the artist originally drew his inspiration. Another challenge was to retain the originals sense of dark lighting and subdued colour palette without appearing overly gloomy.
We are incredibly proud of the finished result, production of which, at times felt like an insurmountable challenge to complete!
On installation, the donor, who had been the very definition of patience during the lengthy process of both gaining permission and producing the piece had this to say;
“As far as I was concerned there are some things worth waiting for and boy wasn’t it worth the wait! We’ve had so many comments today in church and all very favourable. I personally do not think it could have been bettered”.
Our images include the window in position following installation and various stages of both the design and production process.