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Artist in residence: Artists inspiring new art

World class York glass painters the Knowles family are still inspiring light-filled art in the city, thanks to Explore’s artist in residence Alun Kirby.

Explore’s archive is custodian of the family’s collection of items relating to three generations of Knowles, who worked throughout the city as glass painters and restorers. Alun used more than 200 images of items and texts to create the 2.8m x 1.4m ‘stained glass window’, which hung in York Explore’s cafe.

The work, Let Us Satisfy Our Eyes, was also inspired by a Shakespeare quote, mentioned several times in the notes of founder JW Knowles. Alun made the collaged window using cameraless photography, through an early-Victorian process called the cyanotype. This celebrates both the Victorian origins of the Knowles’ work and the importance of light in designing and making stained glass.

We are delighted to have Alun on-board as Artist-in-Residence, and for his work in highlighting one of our amazing community collections...

- Laura Yeoman, Archivist