Thomas Denny is a stained-glass artist and painter, educated at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1970’s. In the 1980‘s and 1990‘s he exhibited his paintings in London and New York. Latterly, Denny has concentrated on stained-glass and has now made some fifty windows for churches and cathedrals, almost entirely in England but with a few projects in Germany and Scotland. Recent commissions include a pair of windows at Hereford Cathedral and, installed in August 2010, a huge window for Durham Cathedral. Other commissions are found in extraordinary buildings all over the country including Gloucester Cathedral, Tewkesbury Abbey and Malvern Priory. The new edition of Pevsner’s ‘Gloucestershire’ refers to Denny’s windows at St Christopher’s, Cheltenham, as ‘quite astonishing’. Mary Miers, in Country Life (July 2003) speaks of ‘a radiance that defies beating rain and fading light’, and windows that are ‘many layered, rich in meaning and not immediately fully comprehensible.’ Ann Wroe, writing in The Tablet (2006) and ‘Intelligent Life’ (2010) finds ‘hues and images that both feed the soul and take the breath away....his glass lives and moves like no one else’s.’
This will be the first time that the designs have been exhibited and they are interesting and beautiful as works in their own right. In some ways they differ profoundly from the windows that they relate to - the particularities of the medium of stained-glass can only be approximated by pigments on paper and the difference in scale between design and window enables the artist to make considerable enrichments in surface and imagery on the glass itself - but nevertheless the essential characteristics of the window are already to be found in the design. And on the other hand, some aspects of a design are not translated into glass, but remain to contribute to the individuality of the work on paper.
Study for a panel in St Peter's Church,
Hinton St Mary (installed 1999)
watercolour, 15 x 15cm
The Art Stable, Kelly Ross Fine Art,
Dorset DT11 8HB