Rose windows have been adorning European cathedrals for centuries. The art of stained glass peaked during the Middle Ages in Europe. These colourful windows were used to educate and preach in churches and cathedrals by illustrating passages from the Bible. The rose window found its origin in the Roman oculus (as seen in the Pantheon, for example). Through the centuries, it was transformed, and coloured glass was used to materialize the light, often overpoweringly, to emphasize the dominion of the Church. Rose window designs have fascinated glass artists from the Medieval period to today and have followed architectural trends through history.
During the pandemic, a group of Ontario glass artists, under the banner of the Artistic Group of Glass (AGOG), sent us an exhibition proposal. The four artists, Teresa Seaton, John Highly, Siobhan Lynch and Joe Speck, have revisited and reimagined the rose window in contemporary terms and various glass approaches, including stained glass, fused glass, and glass mosaic. They have created a vibrant and intriguing display celebrating light, colour and form.