The St James Centre
Birdham
The St James Centre is in a gentle country location and this is a commission for art that nurtures a ‘quiet voice’ in a rural setting. The etched glass is intended to mould itself with the surrounding landscape, both architectural and natural. The art also softens the presence of the fully glazed elevation.

The glass design for this east elevation is a sentient work representing travelling light. It complements the spirit of the new architecture, as well as mirroring the complex textures of the ancient stonework in the adjacent existing church buildings.

The design uses a flurry of elliptical forms running in unison, creating a contemporary and organic canvas; one that can be viewed in diverse lighting conditions (internal and external, artificial and natural) and in detail from ground and first floors.

Technically the glass working processes are quite brutal but visually the results are calm and almost weightless. This installation is a study composed of many grades of etching and polishing.

As expected the backdrop of the trees and sky forms the perfect visual foundation for the installation. Ever-changing to give the art a rhythm and movement that is unconfined. As the sun crosses the sky, hundreds of projected sun-lit shapes morph and migrate across the walls and floor internally.

The scheme won the Ecclesiastical Building Award from the Sussex Heritage Trust 2019.
The St James Centre Birdham etched detail.
 
The St James Centre Birdham east elevation
The St James Centre Birdham, interior first floor view.
The St James Centre Birdham, interior view.
The St James Centre Birdham, exterior view.
The St James Centre Birdham, exterior detail.
The St James Centre Birdham, interior detail.
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