In almost every culture, there has been a close tie between religion and art. Sacred art not only communicates a story, it prompts reflection. Photo courtesy Candice Nixon
BY CHRISTINE ROSS
In almost every culture, there has been a close tie between religion and art. Sacred art not only communicates a story, it prompts reflection. In Pope John Paul II’s 1999 Letter to Artists, the pontiff writes, “ Works of art speak to their authors; they enable us to know their inner life, and they reveal the original contribution which artists offer to the history of culture. Art gives human experience its ultimate meaning.”
Gifted Cornwall-based artist Candice Nixon was commissioned to create a stained glass window for the Chapel of Mary, Mother of Compassion at Providence Motherhouse.
Candice was profoundly moved by the experience of creating these intricate pieces. After pouring 200 hours of her heart and soul into the project, she describes it as the most technically difficult she’s ever tackled.
“Prayers Rising is more than esthetics. It’s meant for prayer, meditation and inspiration. Each window element has a specific meaning and purpose. The more you look, the more you see,” adds Candice.
Albert Dunn, co-ordinator of Pastoral Liturgy with the Sisters of Providence, has been involved in the project since day one.
“This is not simply art for art’s sake. This window is sacred art that will enhance the quality of our worship,” explains Albert.
The magnificent window features an innovative technique that invites more light. There is no soldering to hold the glass pieces together. The two layers are glued together with an epoxy designed specifically for glass-on-glass adhesion.
“The clear spacing in between creates the illusion that the pieces are floating within the frame,” reports Candice.
Her work was inspired by the Tabernacle within the Room of Reservation, where the window was installed in late May and blessed on Pentecost Sunday.
“When facing the window staight on, the coloured glass encompasses the Tabernacle. This feature represents prayers rising like incense to heaven,” says Candice. “ Within the background, there are three circles moving upwards starting around the Tabernacle.
The double circle in the centre represent the Holy Trinity, Unity and female power.”
Candice is deliberate about each colour of glass she chooses because she’s not only creating a picture, she’s transforming the atmosphere surrounding it. She chose bronze and pink glass colours to complement the colours within the Chapel itself. Her design allows plenty of light, while evoking peace and restfulness.