The Resurrection Windows
Stained glass Window Design for 4 panels of stained glass for St Matthews Anglican Church, Gayndah
Designed by Jennifer Andrews 1993 and created in glass by Gordon Slack
Gordon Slack Commissioned and created in glass the Resurrection Windows at St Matthew's Anglican Church. He wanted a design to do with resurrection and also to be relevant to the district of Gayndah. Gayndah was in the grips of a severe drought at the time. A bottle tree clinging onto the desolate slop of a small hill near the town caught my attention. Gordon is also a cattle farmer and other produce in the region included citrus.
My Interpretation of the brief into a design for stained glass
© Jennifer Andrews
Keeping mind the theme of resurrection the panels represent, form left to right, the transformation from desolate life to new life. through the presence of the Holy Spirit, represented by the traditional symbols of fire and water, new life emerges.
The mountains around Gayndah and a symbolic underground stream (water of life) form a unifying symbol. A bottle tree, citrus, cattle, bush fire and deluge are motifs in this design.
The first two panels have aspects of the desert and the idea of the fire clearing the ground for new life. The bottle tree is a reminder of the continuing presence of life even in the barren desert. This symbolises the eternal presence of God’s life-giving force.
The final two panels emphasise water and the bright colours of new life.
Window 1 “Hope”
The bottle tree symbolises life when everything else is barren. In this design it symbolises the continuing presence of God even in the barren desert. Water is a traditional symbol of the Holy Spirit. When all else seems dry and barren and all hope is gone, water can be found at the very heart of this tree.
The shapes in the sky resemble flames. The heat of the drought pulses in the burning blue of the sky. The tree’s limbs appear lifeless on one side but a glimpse of green in a new leaf on the other side symbolises the ongoing life force. The leaves are coloured green and yellow. The green is both the actual colour and the colour associated with new life and the yellow is symbolic and ties the leaves in with the idea of the flame which is used to clear the way for the new growth. Fire is another symbol for the Holy Spirit.
The flames above the distant hills suggest that the way is being cleared for the new life.
Window 2 “Burning Bush”
When God spoke to Moses in the form of a Burning Bush the bush was not destroyed and God’s presence was manifested. Fire is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
The land needs to e cleared by fire to make way for the new life. Some seeds are actually germinated by the head of the fire.
The symbolic underground stream is flowing and is being supplied from the deluge in Window 3.
Window 3 “Deluge”
The ground has been cleared the deluge brings forth new life.
The underground stream is flowing towards the bottle tree to bring replenishment.
Window 4 “New Life”
“New life in Christ”, or resurrection, is an essential component of Christian belief. In this panel new life is symbolised as growth in the presence of the Holy Spirit. This new life is represented through the images of the citrus fruit and the cattle. The rainbow is bright and symbolises a new start.
All content and images © Jennifer Andrews