In the last blog in the series, artist Mel Howse describes the process of making our newest cathedral addition.
Over a period of 25 years my skills as a designer and maker have evolved into taking on some large-scale projects. I was fortunate to have had commissions coming in on graduation as a student, and my experience of transposing drawn designs to full-scale glasswork has grown along with my portfolio. I am not daunted in this respect by scale, in fact, I relish it, and the development of commissions that take years to unfold is all part of the territory. My focus as an artist is in creating unique pieces of work, that explore the opportunities afforded by my medium, keeping it relevant to our era.
Continue reading The Illumination Window: The Making
Artist Mel Howse discusses the process of cartooning for our newest piece of glass art
In the stained glass tradition, the working drawing that an artist uses to create the final glasswork is called a cartoon. This cartoon is a full-size drawing at 1:1 scale and can be in either colour or black and white.
It conveys the
essence of the glass work to come: the size and the shape of the glass pieces,
details of applied techniques such as paintwork or etching. Quite simply, it is
the glassmaker’s guide for the coming stage of creating the art in glass.
Continue reading The Illumination Window: The Cartoon
Artist Mel Howse gives an insight into the design process and reading of our newest cathedral addition, The Illumination Window.
It has been a
great privilege to be both designer and maker for the commission to create The
Illumination window. It will stand as an important experience in my lifetime.
As I write this in Spring 2019 this work is about to take on a new role. It
will be leaving the intimacy of my studio, and travelling into the future as
part of the Cathedral.
Continue reading The Illumination Window: The Design
For the last four years two ordinands, that is trainee
priests, have undertaken a week long work placement with the Marketing and
Events Team at Durham Cathedral. Their vocational training is at Cranmer Hall,
the Theology College at St John’s College, Durham University.
The placement happens immediately after a communications
conference organised by CODEC, the Research Centre for Digital Theology at St John’s College,
led by the Rev Dr Pete Phillips. It explores the impact of digital culture,
especially on faith and community communication in the life of the contemporary
One of this year’s placements at the Cathedral is Mahalha
Wachepa, originally from Malawi. Mahalha
moved to the UK in 2002.
Continue reading mahalha’s journey as a priest in training
Brian Logan, consultant at Baldwins, a CogitalGroup company, recalls the cathedral’s central tower reopening event.
Continue reading Baldwins blog: Central tower reopens after three-year restoration project
Durham Cathedral Choir and the Avison
Ensemble join forces for a performance of Bach’s St John Passion at Durham
Cathedral this Sunday, 14 April. We spoke with Pavlo Beznosiuk, leader of the
period instrument orchestra for this performance, about the piece and his
excitement to perform at Durham Cathedral.
Tickets for this performance are £8-28, available at www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/whats-on/st-john-passion
What does the St
John Passion Oratorio consist of and what is it about the piece that makes
it so special?
The St John Passion, just like the more-performed and more-famous St Matthew Passion, were special commissions put together for Good Friday. These are large scale works centering around a narrator, the Evangelist, who sings in a form called ‘recitative’ a kind of sung speech. He tells the story of the passion of Christ quite simply, a narrative punctuated by a sequence of choruses, solo arias and chorales, what we might describe today as hymns. The arias are moments slightly outside the narrative where the events are meditated upon. For example the high tenor aria ‘Erwage’ is a sublime piece of music with silvery-toned muted violins and a viola da gamba, but the text describes how the body of Christ, having just been scourged, is literally a mess of blood and torn flesh. Such arias provide a moment for personal contemplation, against a backdrop of utterly sublime music.
Continue reading ‘A very Durham passion’: St John Passion at Durham Cathedral, in conversation with Pavlo Beznosiuk
A new exhibition in Open Treasure, Durham Cathedral’s multi award-winning museum experience, examines the role that food and drink played in the life of the cathedral and its inhabitants through the centuries. Focused on the famous Great Kitchen, the exhibition explores everything from medieval monastic rules on fasting to the kitchen’s present day role as home of the treasures of St Cuthbert as part of Open Treasure.