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Chagall Glass Exhibition, Romont, Switzerland
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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 07:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 24th, 2006
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Last week I went on a personal pilgrimage....

In 1979 I entered Glasgow School of Art, desparate to be taught everything possible about stained glass. Needless to say, that didn't happen. However, I did come across a book in the Art School Library which took my breath away - The Hadassah Synagogue Windows by Marc Chagall.

In the summer holidays between my second and third year at Art School, I spent several weeks working in Kibbutz Sarid. On our weekend off, some of us went to Jerusalem - I went to Hadassah, and saw a bright, bold, yellow donkey, eight feet across, lit up by the middle eastern sky.

I love Chagall's glass. My final year's work was inspired by the way he moved colour in and out and through the lines, both the drawing and the painting working harmoniously together, yet distinctly different, using loose use of acid and stain, contrast, contrast, anything's possible. Like a Dufy painting, loose and free, and dancing and happy, I simply love the stuff.

Stefan Trumpler, director of the Centre de Recherche du Vitrail in Romont told me of the exhibition he was organising to celebrate the work of Chagall. Because of this he had to curtail his trip to Namur in June to ensure everything was in place for the opening in July. He sent me an exhibition poster to tempt me over. I was well and truly hooked.

Cheap flights in November, so with one week to go before the exhibition closes, I finally got to Romont, a small medieval town, built on a hill, (near Geneva) with a castle on top which celebrates and researches lots of glassy things - and Chagall for 4 months!

I got to stay in the castle, as a guest, with the ferrets in the attic, and the cold starry night, and the Chagall glass.

Lots and lots of original sketches, ideas, methodologies, original glass, drawings, explanations, photographs, and best of all, a loop video of Chagall discussing his work on the Chicago windows with his soul-mate in glass, Charles Marc. Unfortunately, the tape is private, and the exhibition closes on the 18th Nov, but these personal insights from Chagall were justification enough to have gone.

Some stained glass people either love or hate Chagall's glass. Some people hate his "art leading". They just don't get it! For me, his work is truly the most insparational there is. To quote roughly from Charles Marc in the video, "OK, so I make stained glass, so what, that's my job... Chagall is the artist... I simply work with glass.... If I were a concert violinist, I wouldn't go around all day saying: I play the violin...I play the violin... I play the violin, that would just be boring, but I would say, Hayden, Bach, Beethoven, they are masters, Chagall - is a master"

A catalogue of the exhibition is available (French & German text only)




 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2007 01:37 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 7th, 2006
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Hello Linda, your trip sounds wonderful and thank for the details of your stay.  It sounds like that conversation about his Chicago windows should also be in Chicago!!

Barbara in Michigan

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