Competition | 25-09-2022

Apply to create etched or engraved glass for historic church

Are you a glass artist working in etching or engraving? Would you like the opportunity to create some figurative windows for a Grade 1-listed church with links to Richard III? Read on and, if you want to apply, the deadline for expressions of interest is 11 October 2022.

The year 2024 marks the 550th anniversary of Richard III’s lordship of the town of Barnard Castle. The ‘Windows for the King’ project is a joint initiative by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Mary’s Church Barnard Castle and the Northern Dales Richard III Group, who have formed a Partnership Group.

The group is seeking expressions of interest from etched glass and/or engraved glass designers and artists who would be interested in creating an artwork for installation in St Mary’s Parish Church Barnard Castle.

The church was founded in 1130 and has strong associations with Richard III who, as Lord of Barnard Castle sought to create a collegiate foundation based in the church, investing heavily in its development. In doing so, he enlarged and enhanced the fabric of the building before his death in 1485.

The project seeks to install figurative designs associated with Richard III’s college in the arch above the recently installed inner porch doors. The archway is currently uplit from the nave’s inner pillars and there is some lighting in the outer porch. The outer porch contains regimental Colours of the Durham Militia. The design should not obscure these Colours.

The Partnership Group is seeking figurative designs consonant with Christian tradition and symbolism that portray: The Virgin holding the infant Christ (central); St Ninian of Whithorn; St Margaret of Scotland; St Helen of the Holy Cross; St Catherine of Alexandria, and two supporting Ricardian boars. The artist commissioned for this work will be able to draw upon the considerable background and historical research of the commissioning group.

The whole arch may be treated as seven individual fields, although there may be scope for some fields to merge.

The commissioned artist would be expected to engage the local community in understanding and exploring their work and the processes of design and creation.

Those interested are asked to send: a digital covering letter making clear their interest in the project and any previous community engagement experience, plus a small digital portfolio of work relevant to this project (up to 15 images). The partnership is particularly interested in the portrayal of human figures.

Applications should be sent to no later than Tuesday 11 October 2022.

The Partnership Group will meet on 12 October 2022 to identify and invite three shortlisted artists to develop a preliminary design (for which a fee of £400 will be paid). Shortlisted artists will be given further historical information about the church, Richard III’s College and the selected figures. There will also be an opportunity for informal conversation with members of the Partnership Group.

Preliminary designs by the shortlisted artists will need to be submitted by 9 November 2022. Then individual Zoom conversations will be held between the Partnership Group and each shortlisted artist between 10 and 17 November to discuss community engagement, timescales, and projected costs.

The winning artist for the commission will be decided in the week commencing 21 November 2022.

Image: The arch above the inner porch doors where the figurative design will be installed.

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