The Collegiate and Parish Church of St Mary, Swansea
AddressThe Collegiate and Parish Church of St Mary, St Mary’s Square, Swansea, SA1 3LP
Artist, maker and dateMartin Donlin, 2001
Reason for highlighting
A dramatic west window, from one of the greats of contemporary stained glass. It was inspired by the themes of justice, reconciliation, peace, hope, regeneration and renewal.
The church is a showcase of important works by the students and staff of the stained glass course at Swansea from the 1980s and 1990s. Particularly notable are the Butterfly windows in the north wall of the north aisle by Kuni Kajiwara (1981), the only British work by this Japanese artist and an early window made by Tim Lewis’ Glantawe Studios, and Rodney Bender’s Welsh Guards Falklands Memorial window (1985).
Another one of the Swansea Alumni, Catrin Jones, has windows either side of the west door, and further windows a short walk away at the Priory Church of St David, Swansea.
The ‘Swansea work’ is preceded by windows by James Powell & Sons (1958–60), John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens (1965) and Chapel Studio (1978).
Further reading and information:
Stained Glass from Welsh Churches by Martin Crampin (Talybont: Y Lolfa, 2014)
Stained Glass in Wales – St Mary’s, Swansea
Stained Glass in Wales – Priory Church of St David, Swansea
Martin Donlin (b.1959) was born in Hockley, Essex to Irish immigrant parents and studied Architectural Stained Glass in Swansea, South Wales from 1984 to 1987.
The majority of the projects he produces are intended to work on a variety of levels, with bold images for impact yet containing small intricate details to be seen close up. His intention is to create artworks that are welcoming and accessible and do not alienate visitors or locals, but have a sensitivity and relevance to their environment. They are usually a direct response to the architecture and surroundings.
Source: Martin Donlin website