Regent’s Park College
In planning visits to a number of chapels that do not feature stained glass, I was delighted to hear the news from one of them: to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of becoming a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford, the Regent’s Park College’s Jubilee Project set about transforming the College Chapel with new décor and furniture, together with a new three stained glass windows, designed by the acclaimed Oxfordshire-based artist, Nicholas Mynheer. The windows will not be installed until 2020, but the Chaplain has asked if I would be happy to photograph them once in situ, sadly too late for inclusion in my book. However, I am awaiting permission from the artist to publish the vidimus of one of the windows in leu of a photograph of the window.
I may also seek permission to photograph Mynheer at work in his gallery to provide some additional contextualisation to my work.
The three windows are designed to reflect the central facets of the College’s life, representing Creation, Revelation, and Ministry.The Creation window evokes the very first moments of life, formed like a rain drop from heaven. From Latin, the College’s name (Collegium de Principis cum Regentis Paradiso) translates as the College of the Prince Regent’s Paradise Garden, so it is fitting that in this design the Garden of Eden is brought together with the community around a tree; an allusion to the Tree of Life. Rich with symbolism, the window features a whale, from whose belly Jonah was resurrected, and the stag, a sign of mystery, piety and longing for God. There is a beautiful unity to the design, as the shames of creation imitate one another, reflecting their common origin: stars echoed in the starfish and snowflakes, and flying fish mirror the swallows of the sky.