Creativity, inspiration and mining the past

Sometimes it’s colour combinations, sometimes it’s motifs and sometimes it’s just the overall essence of an image that provides a creative spur when searching for inspiration. We all do it and the Victorians’ passion for mining their past is proudly visible in their cultural output.

Most of the stained glass windows that decorate St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, are the work of three leading stained glass firms of the nineteenth century. Stained glass by Clayton and Bell, Hardman & Co and C E Kempe fill the cathedral windows with their work inspired by long-gone and unnamed medieval craftsmen. There is, however, one window whose lights are not Victorian, but date from the late medieval period. At first glance maybe they all look the same, but one has a different ‘feel’! (I’ve labelled it).

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

2 thoughts on “Creativity, inspiration and mining the past”

  1. Yes, I spent some time looking at these, and despite the fact that photos (even good ones like these) can’t tell the whole story, decided that the window showing Susannah and the Elders uses colour in a slightly subtler way, and is somehow less ‘in-your-face’ than the Victorian windows. Or am I reading too much into it? They are in any case lovely windows, all of them, and here is another cathedral, along with Ely’s, that I need to visit

    1. Absolutely right – I agree it’s the vibrancy of the colours that make the Victorian windows less subtle. I think for some time now our aesthetic response has favoured works that have a naturally acquired ‘aged’ feel to them.

      If you go to visit the cathedral at Ely you’ll find that the Museum of Stained Glass is also within the cathedral complex. It’s on my list too!

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