‘Gariswn o Flodau’ – Three stained glass windows for Conwy Castle

Commissioned by Cadw and installed in the castle in 2012, the inspiration for this work came when we visited the castle and surrounding landscape. We discovered medieval stained glass from the Church of Llangwstenin (now in the archives of Llandudno Museum), and at Llanrychwyn Church near Llanrwst which connected us directly with glassmakers who were involved in building the castle in the 13th Centruy. We wanted to use the Medieval techniques of stained glass to create a contemporary artwork inspired by these surviving medieval fragment panels.

The windows tell the story of the Welsh Princes and their bloody struggles with Edward 1st who built the castle in 1283-89. The panels contain hundreds of references to historic texts and manuscripts, as well as references to contemporary life in the area, such as mountain bikes and a mobile phone. The intention was to create a contemporary artwork using traditional skills, and to restore some colour and opulence to the castle ruins.

The windows contain three couplets specially commissioned from Welsh writer, Damian Walford Davies.

With the support of Wales Arts International, in 2013 we wrote a paper which we presented to the annual conference of the American Glass Guild about this commission.