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'Enlightenment' A Stunning New Glass Sculpture by Amy Cushing

Wednesday 15th November 2017 to Wednesday 28th February 2018 in Chichester Cathedral's Baptistry

 
Life, like a dome of many coloured glass, stains the white radiance of eternity' (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
 
Enlightenment at Chichester Cathedral by Amy Cushing
Enlightenment at Chichester Cathedral by Amy Cushing

'Enlightenment' is a spectacular new glass sculpture created especially for Chichester Cathedral by award-winning artist Amy Cushing.  The sculpture takes the form of a beautiful delicate tower of floating glass rising up from the baptistry font. 

The 3 metre high column consists of approximately 500 pieces of iridescent glass elements created from a handmade powdered mica, a compound of silver and copper, which subtly echoes the copper of the font.  The various sections are then carefully threaded together to create a meticulously considered patchwork of colour which reflect and contrast the baptistry; the place where children and adults are baptised and initiated into the life of the Christian community.

It took Amy three months to create this fragile piece, mostly in the studio at the bottom of her garden.   Talking about the design process Amy explains where her inspiration behind the piece came from: "As my work is site-specific it always begins with the space it's going to be displayed in.  The sophisticated light you get inside the Cathedral allows it to catch the fine metallic inclusions in the glasswork, causing it to morph and evolve.  This gives the glass a fragile and lightweight quality as it rises up and reaches towards the heavens."

Enlightenment at Chichester Cathedral by Amy Cushing

The title 'Enlightenment' draws together the context and purpose of the font, together with the importance of the Christmas period during which it will be displayed.  Coloured glass has had an important part to play in our churches and cathedrals since the middle ages.  The glass simultaneously provided light, protection from the elements and brought the building alive with images depicting, and inspired by, the Christian story. 

Working to commission Amy has become one of London's most creative designer makers, carving a unique niche for herself with an unparalleled understanding of fused glass combined with  an intuitive sense of colour.  The beauty of her glass is in the detail and meticulous finishes.  Specialising in kiln-formed glass she draws on an expansive knowledge to create both small and large scale installations.

Enlightenment at Chichester Cathedral by Amy Cushing

Amy studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design, specialising in Ceramics and Glass for her BA in Public Art.  She has won many awards chiefly from the British Council, Wedgewood Commission @ 100% Design, and the Scandinavian Award at the Chelsea Arts Fair.  Amy has a particular interest in Arts for the Teaching and Healing Environment (AfTHE) which strives to improve hospital environments for patient care through art.  Her work is held in many private and corporate collections around the world.


'Enlightenment' has been curated by Jacquiline Creswell working in collaboration with Chichester Cathedral.

Enlightenment at Chichester Cathedral by Amy Cushing
Enlightenment at Chichester Cathedral by Amy Cushing
 
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