‘Minuet’ gilded Dalle de Verre glass sculpture by David Lilly

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Brighton based glass artist David Lilly has created his ‘Water & Music’ artwork by sandblasting and gilding a piece over 1960’s English Dalle de Verre. The piece, titled ‘Minuet’ is mounted on a left over piece of Ash from Henry Haig’s windows at Clifton Cathedral.

size 30 x 30 x 25cm without stand

Henry Haig was a commercially successful stained glass artist, and his windows can be seen in buildings, which range from the Norman church of St Michael and All Angels in Alsop en le Dale in Derbyshire to the 1960s concrete Clifton Cathedral in Bristol. It is some of the remaining stock of Dalles from that latter commission that I am reimagining.

Henry’s art was symbolic and abstract (or, more correctly, non-figurative). He believed that the stained glass artist’s role was to explore and open pathways through and beyond earthly existence towards a deeper comprehension. Henry Haig died in December 2007. He is much missed by his family and all who knew him, but his work lives on to be admired by future generations. In 2013 David Lilly was invited by his widow Joan to acquire the remaining Dalle de Verre from his estate as his children were at that time looking to pass on what he had to another whose passion was akin to his. Since that time David has been exploring ways to get Dalle de Verre back into the public awareness, and this year completed the first Dalle de Verre church installation in the UK since the 1980’s, a small Methodist church in Banbury, and it’s using some of Henry’s glass. Now David has decided to use these Dalles as pieces of art for their own sake, rather than cutting them up and amalgamating them in a window.

Some individual Dalles (showing the provenance of their storage and transport for over 50 years) have been sandblasted (and some gilded). The gilded dark blue one here is entitled Minuet as the lines that form the design were drawn listening to one of the Minuets in Handel’s Water Music suite. Like the dance, the line is a continuous one, and the movements and swelling of the line mimic the swells and falls of the music along with the exuberance and hesitance of the dancers footsteps.


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