New Acquisition: Rosalind Grimshaw's Pictures of Violence
(18 Mar. 2023)
Thanks to a grant from the Art Fund The Stained Glass Museum has purchased a stained glass panel by the late Rosalind Grimshaw (1945-2020). Richly layered in colour, imagery and meaning, [ital:Pictures of Violence] (1982) is a characteristic stained glass work by Rosalind Grimshaw.
Grimshaw studied fine art before beginning her training in stained glass in 1975 with the Bristol firm Joseph Bell & Son. The studio closed in 1996 but Grimshaw continued to work in her own studio completing more than 200 commissions for public and private collections during her working life.
Made at Joseph Bell & Sons of Bristol in 1982, Pictures of Violence is a montage of images of aggressive acts and their consequences. At the top of the panel a schoolboy walks by a burning car in Northern Ireland. Lower down, scenes of a hostage situation in Iran and a famine in Ethiopia are painted in monochrome grisaille, reflecting their origins as newspaper photographs in The Guardian.
Text also appears in the panel, in the form of the painted words 'Violence follows 10th marine death' in the centre, and the title work spelled out in lead and coloured glass at the bottom. Further complexity is lent to the composition by the appearance of a windowsill on which sit a packet of cigarettes, a lighter and a potted geranium. It's as if the viewer is inside a room and looking out.
Another layer of meaning is provided by the border, which is made of recycled fragments of glass from 19th- and 20th century church windows blown out by an IRA bomb. In one of these pieces Christ's feet can be seen nailed to a cross.
Pictures of Violence expands the number of works by women artists in the Stained Glass Museum's collection, as well as demonstrating the potential of the medium to engage with complex contemporary issues.
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