The Newbury Spring Festival Window

The Spring Festival is an annual international music festival that takes place in Newbury. Although primarily music orientated, it also encompasses other creative mediums, especially visual arts. Each year the festival appoints a visual artist in residence that may run workshops, exhibit their work or create an entirely new piece during the festival.

For 2005, I was invited to be artist in residence, and to compliment the recently finished mosaic, commissioned to create a new 9 panel stained glass window design depicting the cultural life of Newbury. The window to be replaced was in the Town Hall, right in the centre of Newbury, and the proposal was to have the design ready to display on the eve of the final concert in the festival when all sponsors and trustees would be present.

Mark Eynon, the Festival Director, and I talked about the commission in what he described later as "a full and frank discussion". He disagreed with my initial ideas about one window in 9 panels and preferred 9 separate panels linked by a common theme and style. This, in the end, is how it turned out.

To accompany this work, there was an exhibition about the building of the mosaic at the Corn Exchange, the local theatre.

The drawing on the left shows the dimensions and layout of the window.

To maximise impact, a full sized mock up would be created and installed in position for the last weekend of the festival. This was quite a challenge.

Click on the panels to see a larger version and an explanation.
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