A new stained glass window designed by David Hockney and commissioned to celebrate the reign of Her Majesty The Queen was unveiled at Westminster Abbey today 26 September.
The window is a celebration of the reign of Her Majesty The Queen
The Matisse inspired window is vividly coloured and depicts a rural landscape scene reflecting The Queen’s deep affection and connection to the countryside. The new window is in the Abbey’s north transept, which was plain glass until now, is officially called The Queen’s Window.
David Hockney is one of the most influential artists of The Queen’s reign and his contribution has been recognised with an Order of Merit and as a Companion of Honour, was chosen for the commission. This is his first work in stained glass.
The brief to the artist was to provide something symbolic or representational of the subject, rather than a heraldic or figurative design, and for it to be recognisable as his work.
Hockney’s response was to design a country scene, set within his beloved Yorkshire featuring hawthorn blossom, using his distinct colour palette of yellow, red, blue, pink, orange and greens. The subject reflects The Queen as a countrywoman and her widespread delight in, and yearning for, the countryside.
Stained glass artists and craftspeople at Barley Studio created the window using traditional techniques, working with the artist to translate his vision into glass. Barley Studio is a leading stained glass studio of over forty years based in York.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: I’m very pleased that David Hockney accepted my invitation to design this window which is a celebration of the reign of Her Majesty The Queen. What he has produced is directly accessible with wonderful colours. It is a country scene to honour a woman who loves her country.
David Hockney is one of Britain’s best loved artists. In 2012 the Yorkshire born,artist was appointed a member of the Order of Merit ,by the Queen, at Buckingham Palace. Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney attended Bradford School of Art before studying at the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. Hockney’s stellar reputation was established while he was still a student; his work was featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries, which heralded the birth of British Pop Art. He visited Los Angeles in the early 1960s and settled there soon after. He is closely associated with southern California and has produced a large body of work there over many decades. David Hockney was elected a Royal Academician in 1991.
The window will be dedicated formally by the Dean in the presence of the artist, his family, friends and invited guests on Tuesday 2nd October at 11:30am.