Stained glass | 15-08-2022

Travellers’ Tales fine art exhibition features stained glass

Stained glass, pencil drawings and watercolours by Ilkley-based artist Jonathan Cooke and his son Thomas will be featured in an exhibition at Mill Bridge Gallery, North Yorkshire, in September 2022.

‘Travellers’ Tales’ focuses on journeys of all kinds, real and imagined, through time and in landscape. Jonathan’s quirky stained glass narrative panels and watercolour landscapes are complemented by Thomas’s images of a fictional world steeped in the aesthetic of the Northern European late Middle Ages.

Jonathan’s stained glass art is both traditional and highly original, employing a wide repertoire of glass painting techniques from the conventional to the experimental. These result in idiosyncratic narrative pieces that are usually small scale, often intricately detailed, panels, which address the human condition.

Jonathan Cooke’s ‘Free Ride’. Leaded painted panel: grisaille on ruby flash and pot metal glasses (Lamberts) (115mm x 146mm) © Jonathan Cooke 2022.

Fascinated by stained glass since childhood, Jonathan served a four-year traditional apprenticeship at the York Glaziers Trust, where he worked on the restoration of Minster’s world-famous medieval glass following the fire in 1984. He has been in private practice since 1987 and has taught glass painting for 30 years throughout the UK, as well as in Norway and the USA.

Thomas Cooke is an autistic art historian and philosopher with eight years of teaching experience. He has always been interested in the history of art and architecture, particularly the aesthetics and culture of late medieval Northern Europe. As a child, he began creating a paracosm – an imaginary world – as a coping mechanism. He now shares this in his highly detailed landscape and architectural pencil drawings of ‘The Principality’, a central part of that world.

An A3 pencil drawing of The Principality by Thomas Cooke.

As well as the stained glass, drawings and paintings there will be a display featuring the processes involved in creating stained glass, plus a presentation/discussion entitled “’An Aurtistic Paracosm’: Disability, mental health, belief, and the creative process”. (Please check for times/dates before travelling)

The venue for the exhibition, the Mill Bridge Gallery (3 Mill Bridge, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1NJ, UK), dates back to at least 1675 and is reputed to be the oldest dwelling in Skipton.

The Travellers’ Tales exhibition is on from 8 September until 1 October inclusive, from 11am to 4pm, Thursday to Saturday. Other times are available by appointment.

View more of Jonathan Cooke’s work via the website:

Main image: Detail from Jonathan Cooke’s ‘Dinner for Two’ leaded painted panel: grisaille and silver stain on ruby flash and pot metal glasses (Lamberts/Hartley Wood/Tatra) (130mm x 155mm) © Jonathan Cooke 2022.

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