Commissioned for the New Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Little France in Edinburgh, I made this window in 2017. The hospital opened fully in March 2021.
In 1997 I was asked to design and make the Sanctuary Stained Glass window for the Sciennes Road Royal Hospital for Sick Children. A few years before this my own child was very sick and spent some time in the hospital; this shaped my approach to the project which resulted in a window of hope, and of light at the end of the tunnel.
Researching for this new project for Little France, I was struck by how much the old window is appreciated and how important it has been to many individuals over the years. It is my privilege to assist with some continuity to the new location by creating the new window.
The design is based on one of the tree forms towards the right-hand side of the old window. The theme is the cycle of life: cell division and new life; hopeful green shoots; healthy leaves of memory; mature, permanent branches; loss and decay. Using a similar colour palette and traditional stained glass techniques anchors the memory of the old window in the new.
Interesting details and textures are used to invite children and adults alike to look deeper. Smooth fused glass elements represent cells dividing. Intricate patterns are made by sandblasting real leaves, where the original leaf leaves its mark on the glass but is destroyed in the process. In painting the window, foliage and other items are used to print onto the glass. Whether people pass by or pause for a closer look, reflections from mirror and lustre glimmer.