Light Masonry

York Minster light installation by Jason Bruges

In medieval times, windows, stained glass or otherwise, were essential to the churches, illuminating the building and the people within, both literally and spiritually.  In the eyes of the worshipers, they allowed the light of God into the church.  At a time when few could read, painted windows were used to instruct people in the Christian faith and encourage religious devotion.  Many windows illustrated scenes and stories from the Bible and the lives of the saints, who were revered both as a source of help in everyday life and as mediators in Heaven.

Light is fundamental within places of worship, so it was appropriate that artist and designer Jason Bruges used light to sculpt a secondary layer of dynamic, temporal and ephemeral architecture within the nave of York Minster back in 2016.   Bruges’ artwork is influenced by and extends from the design of the building, investigating the relationships between the vaulted ceiling, the lights and the audience.

A bank of 48 computer-controlled moving-head lights worked in sequence to the accompaniment of the Minster’s organist, producing a show that payed homage to the architecture of the building.

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James Medcraft (2016) Behind the scenes – Masonry Light, York Minster

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James Medcraft (2016) Behind the scenes – Masonry Light, York Minster

It is this contextual link between location and light that I hope to be able to embrace and demonstrate within my practice.

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