I think this project may have been one of the highlights of my career! It came to me through EuropeAxess when Msg. Charles Azzopardi, Rector of the Our Lady of Europe Shrine in Gibraltar commissioned two memorial stained glass windows to be designed for the Shrine.
The brief was to reflect the Moorish roots of the building. We researched Moorish murals and I created vector versions of the Bishop and Pope crests and shrine emblems that were to feature in the windows. We created a highly intricate design echoing the ancient motifs of the times before the Christian era.
However after a visit to Barbara and her son’s workshop nearby in Spain it was clear that the rustic artisan methods and the precise intricate motifs were not going to marry happily.
They came up with counter proposals, which were quite far from the original brief, but much more suited to the production methods to be employed.
At this point I travelled to Gibraltar and, with Angela, was able to sit down with both parties in turn and fine tune a design that used larger shapes, less glass cutting and more glass painting for the more intricate details.
The final design was the perfect balance between what the church had asked for and what was possible from the glass artists’ perspective.
I have always loved working with glass as a medium, painting on discarded glass that I found as a teenager, so I revelled in thinking how the colours and patterns would look in situ, making sure that it didn’t block out too much light on dull days and glowed on sunny days.
I worked in Illustrator to make sure the images would be high resolution when full size and as clear as possible for the glass artist to work from.