Whittaker, Helen

Helen Whittaker, Bramley Apple Celebration window (2009), west wall north transept, Southwell Minster
Photo: Peter Hildebrand
Helen Whittaker, the panel that won the 2002 Steven Competition Commission.
Photo: Helen Whittaker

Stevens Competition Commission winner 2002

Helen Whittaker FMGP is a renowned artist and designer, highly regarded for her new stained glass windows and architectural sculpture in glass and copper.

Helen studied art and design at both the University of Sunderland and the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture, London, in both cases specialising in stained glass. For over 25 years since then Helen has been creating new stained glass to commission and overseeing restoration painting for a wide variety of stained glass conservation projects, latterly as the creative director of the highly acclaimed Barley Studio in York, heading the multi-skilled team alongside founder Keith Barley MBE.

Helen’s aim is to engage the viewer through good design and craftsmanship, creating energy and movement intertwining contemporary and traditional elements. Her designs are inspired by the client, the brief and the building, whether housed in historic or modern buildings, in ecclesiastical or secular contexts.

Source: Helen Whittaker Art website



The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and the Stevens Competition

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers first appears in written records in 1364-65 during the reign of Edward III, when the emphasis was on the protection of the personal economic welfare of Glaziers. However, in recent times the focus has shifted to the preservation of the heritage of stained glass and to the support of education in architectural glass art, design and conservation.

In 1932 the Company launched an annual competition for young artists, which from 1972 operated under the banner of the Stevens Competition. The competition provided an opportunity for aspiring architectural glass artists, designers, and craftsmen to compete in a format which simulated the process typically undertaken in order to obtain a commercial commission.

Helen Whittaker won the Stevens Competition Commission in 2002 to create a new east window for Ellerton Priory. The panel submitted to the Competition is shown opposite, and full details of the window can be found here. Helen Whittaker won a further award for Craftsmanship in 2004. More recently she has served as a judge for the Stevens Competition, and since 2016 has been chair of the judges.


Visit Stained Glass Contributor

Helen Whittaker has contributed to the selection of stained glass windows chosen for highlighting on this website. Her selection can be seen here. As an artist contributing to the website she has also been ask to highlight one of her own works, and that can be seen here.