What do stained glass and graffiti have in common? So much more than just bright colors and large-scale designs! Together with James Earley, we have investigated the touch points and fused both art forms in an experimental project.
Growing up in the family glass atelier, Earley always had a fascination for the ancient material of glass. Deconstructed window shapes, glass and lead came can be frequently found in his large-scale wall murals, translated into a graphical language of lines, colors and halftoning. His works are characterized by timeless aesthetics with a rich conceptual narrative. As inspiration for the collaboration, he chose his mural Circadian (2020). The 9-metre-high graffiti in the Irish city of Cork tells the story of the consequences of the coronavirus lockdown – the effects on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Derix’s artisans in Taunusstein painstakingly translate artists’ contemporary designs into glass in our workshops. They combine traditional techniques going back to the Middle Ages with up-to-date finishing processes. What makes our craft special is the symbiotic relationship between glass and light and the integration with architecture. Not until the glass structure has finally been installed and comes to life through the interaction with light, can the work of art truly be described as completed.
Whilst working with Earley, we selected features that are unique as well as those that are common to both of our art forms, creating complex visual narratives that allude to the interplay between art and space and their ability to reach a broad public. Our aim was to open the medium of contemporary stained glass for new processes and new audiences. The short film Circadian documents this process and shows how James’ imagery interacts with the vitreous characteristics, uniting with our artisans’ craftsmanship in harmony.
Photography and Video: Ror Conaty