Jeff took us on a tour of some of the stained glass publicly available in Edinburgh on Thursday. It’s always nice to be a tourist in the town you’re living in, I find I often put stuff off, thinking that I can do it any time, so it was nice to be shown a bunch of places that I probably never would have found, and taken to places that I probably wouldn’t have made it to any time soon if I had been left to my own devices.
We started off in ECA itself, there is a large window right in the front foyer, so it was a fitting start to the tour. We made a ton of stops, and I took a ton of pictures, so here is just highlights.
One of the first places we went was an installation by Gerald Laing in the Standard Life building, we weren’t allowed to go in, and we were even questioned by the security guard for looking from the outside. It’s installed with lights that dim on a timer, so as the light levels change, what the viewer is drawn to look at changes between the figures cut into the glass itself and the shadows that they cast on the wall. Also in this building and visible from the outside are a large laminated glass installation and a leaded panel on the front.
We went to the Eric Liddel Centre at Holy Corner, which was fantastic. It’s a church that’s been renovated into a community centre, but since the church building was listed, it had to remain untouched, so they essentially built a completely separate, free-standing building inside the church. this means that you can get up close to the stained glass, which was wonderful. It’s such a treat to be able to see these up close even though they were made with the intention that they would always be viewed from the (original) floor of the church. The most interesting windows for me were by William Wilson on the north side.
As per usual, I guess, I found myself attracted to hands and feet. I love the colours and choppy angularity (and especially the red angels) in the window at the Eric Liddell Centre, but I particularly was attracted to the way the hands and feet were rendered throughout the three windows. They were so elongated and bony with the joints emphasized. It really draws attention to them. I love the parts where there are people interacting, the way the hands jumble together and are so expressive is fascinating to me.
Last we went to the Scottish Parliament, to see Allison Kinnaird’s “Psalmsong.”It is copper wheel engraved glass, installed with LED lights that illuminate different parts of the composition in different colours.
Hands again, which remind me of my glasses from Frauenau:
When it was over, we all ran away to prepare to celebrate American Thanksgiving.