Wycliffe Hall Chapel – Planning Visit
Wycliffe Hall is the nearest college to my home, although the one mile walk seemed rather further in the cold, wet and dark conditions that befell today. It was a unique pleasure to be greeted and given a tour by the Principal, Revd Dr Michael Lloyd. In correspondence he was hugely complementary of my work and hoped that I might be able to create an image appropriate for a condolences card from one of the panels within the east window and also wondered whether the angles adorning the top of the window might be able to be used in Christmas cards. With such a warm welcome, it amused me to discover that he was the former chaplain at The Queen’s College, who are currently being so awkward about granting me access to their chapel!
Wycliffe Hall is a Church of England theological college and a Permanent Private Hall (an educational institution) within the Oxford University. It is named after John Wycliffe, who was master of Balliol College, Oxford in the 14th century. The chapel was added in 1896, designed by architect George Wallace. As yet, I am unsure of stained glass window artist.
It is going to be a pleasure photographing the east window as there is an organ loft at the perfect height to eliminate the need for any post-production perspective control.
The west end features a plain glass window that houses one stained glass light, featuring John Wycliffe. This will present a host of minor difficulties, not least the minimal available space – it will only be possible to photograph with a wide angle lens. Clearly this window could only be photographed in the winter months, when the numerous trees are devoid of leaves. By choice, I would prefer to remove the outside features visible through the window. I will have to experiment with smaller apertures than usual in an effort to throw the background out of focus – not easy with wide angle work. It may prove to be simplest to address this problem in post-production.
It is my intention to revisit the College in the New Year – I suspect the photography will need two visits in order to ensure appropriate illumination of both the east and west windows.
It was reassuring to hear such enthusiasm for my work during this visit. Dr Lloyd was adamant that a book cataloguing the chapels through one or two of their windows, would be very well received in Oxford. With an anticipated exhibition date of late 2019, my suggestion that I might also produce a series of Christmas cards based upon the numerous nativity scenes and angels that feature in these windows, was also met by tremendous enthusiasm… I suspect I have one potential buyer at the very least.