4 - Scottish Episcopal Church of St Andrew, Kelso, Scottish Borders
AddressScottish Episcopal Church of St. Andrew, Belmont Place, Kelso TD5 7JB
Comments byDouglas Hogg
This entry is part 4 of a 10 part essay by Douglas Hogg with the title “The Lion in the North – a 20th century lineage – A personally immersive account of the development and influence of a progression in the use of glass painting in Scotland as an expressive form, with particular reference to this as a unique and identifiable east coast phenomenon.” The full essay can be read in the themes section, where there are also links to each of the locations that are discussed.
HighlightWindow in memory of James David Balfour
Artist, maker and dateVivienne Haig, 2001
Reason for highlighting
Upstream of Sprouston on the river Tweed is Kelso St Andrew’s Church tucked away on the old road which led to the ﬁrst Kelso Bridge. This was washed away in a ﬂood and replaced by the current John Rennie bridge, a precursor to his London Bridge from where the two bridge lamps adorning the south end have come from.
Vivienne Haig is an ex-student of ECA. She has installed here a memorial window in the memory of a friend. It includes various views including one of Eton College Chapel and takes the pathway of a pilgrim as a theme. Reference to a quote of Henri Matisse has been of inﬂuence : “…like a song that mounts to the vaulted roof” is reﬂected by more earthly presences in a landscape peppered with references to a life. Her ﬁne, subtle, wetly tentative brush markings are much reﬂective of a still developing east coast (Edinburgh) style continuing a post-1950’s spirit of revival.
There are two Strachan windows here, one “The Four Horses of the Apocalypse” does look like Douglas’ work (being formally attributed as such), certainly in gestural strength and colour composition. There is one more Strachan work here,St George slaying the (c1946). dragon dating later than that at Sprouston which lacks the tight strength and conviction in the lower, dragon, area in comparison to the tight articulation at the foot of the Sprouston window.
I have been told by his family that Douglas, the better artist, often designed or line-painted windows for Alex, and with a bit of “getting the eye in” we can make our own personal comparisons and judgements on this. Alec’s drawing and modelling, his on-glass technique, is of an overall brown mottled appearance as in his signed single light window at Cramond Kirk in Edinburgh. It is in the War Memorial Chapel at Edinburgh Castle where Douglas’ work shimmers and rings in the Shrine. Alec’s own hand can be evidenced in the civic and domestic narrative scenes in the transverse hall. The Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer in his neo-baronial style used artists, sculptors and craftspeople in most of his projects. Apropos of style I ﬁnd that Douglas Strachan’s window set at Winchelsea has an extremely curious even unsettling appearance.
A Henry Holiday window (1880) ﬁlls the south gable wall.
This is the forth part of a 10 part essay, to continue reading please follow the link below
Alternatively the whole essay, without pictures, can be read as a PDF here, or to go to the beginning of the essay click Part 1 – St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, Edinburgh.
Vivienne Haig (b.1959) studied at St Martin’s School of Art in London, before taking the architectural glass course at Edinburgh College of Art under Douglas Hogg. She has since built an extensive body of work both in stained glass and etched/sandblasted/engraved glass and mosaic.
Source : Vivienne Haig Art