Drawings: Canterbury Cathedral

Places that Grace has encountered while travelling and in the course of her career as a conservator have always been at the heart of her work. Her current project is a series of studies of Canterbury Cathedral, exploring unfamiliar aspects of its fabric and environment that are often unseen by the visiting public. 

The quiet, undecorated, less visited rooms and passageways of Canterbury Cathedral have always inspired Grace's imagination. The stillness of these seldom seen places was the catalyst for a body of work currently on show at Canterbury Cathedral and The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge.

 As an artist and a stained-glass conservator at the Cathedral, Grace wanted to take the opportunity to capture the essence of these spaces, and explore unusual views of the Cathedral and its precincts. She initially set out to capture their unique atmosphere through the drawings on show at The Beaney, she then developed these themes in a series of paintings on glass on show in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral.

Having worked on the Cathedral windows for many years, she has been able to observe and document parts of the building that very few people ever see. In the roof spaces, for example, there is an awareness of the stillness while a hundred feet below the noise and bustle of life is going on. These areas of the Cathedral have an almost contemplative atmosphere which Grace has captured in this work.

Inspired by the light that fills these spaces and its effects on the surrounding architecture, Grace is fascinated by the way light can shape the mood of a place. This is reflected in her work where the manipulation of light and dark on paper and glass lends itself to dramatic and sometimes spiritual effects.

The power of glass painting comes from its ability to use light as a medium, giving the work a contemplative quality. In an age saturated by new technologies and techniques, Grace enjoys applying traditional glass painting skills to contemporary ideas.
 

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© 2020 by Grace Ayson