Symbology 2000 Millennial Initiatives in Glass
January 10 - February 4, 2001
This exhibition is a celebration of the first 25 years of the organization, Artists in Stained Glass. It was founded to attempt to put forward contemporary solutions in stained glass as an architectural art in response to the ongoing traditional form with which the public is so familiar.
In order to bridge the gap between what the public perceives as stained glass, and potential contemporary expression, I asked the artists to produce a panel that was part of an architectural proposal, and the content had to include symbols. Traditions die hard, and the ancient role of the stained glass window was to tell stories; symbols helped the viewer to understand the meaning or main story line of the window. But symbols do not belong to ancient times alone; they can be contemporary as well.
Then I wanted to have the artists produce a work that was totally independent from architecture, thereby leading the viewer from a comfortable introduction to the medium to where it can proceed on its own, as another medium for an artist to use to explore concepts. Again, the connection was that symbols were to be used.
Artists included in the exhibition are: Brian Baxter, Philippe Bettinger, Maurice Gareau, Sarah Hall, Graham Howcroft, Jane Irwin, Kathryn Irwin, Susan Obata, Virginia Smith, Mark Thompson, Pattie Walker and John Wilcox.
Originally, this exhibition was accepted by three major glass museums in Europe, where the standards of the works they show are very high. Canadian stained glass is at that level, but the funding wasn't available to send the exhibition abroad. We are indeed fortunate, then, to have this exhibition at the Durham Art Gallery. These are important international quality artists, and these works are such as would be seen in European museums that focus on this art.