Enclosures / by Sasha Ward

Holy City  St. George's, Hanover Square, London:  Old Town my panel from 1985:  Kelmscott Design No. 1  from 2014

Enclosures have turned out to be a major subject matter for me. I am drawn to walled cities, or really representations of walled cities, like the stained glass one I photographed recently (see last blog entry). I found a small glass panel called "Old Town" that I made in 1985 and a glass painting based on Kelmscott Manor in its walls garden from two years ago - these three images, lined up above, have obvious links. 

On my last visit to The National Gallery I was captivated by a large Velasquez painting, an enclosure but just of a piece of ground, no buildings. I realised that it was the actual enclosure that interests me, not only the way that it organises a picture but also what meanings it could have.

 "Philip IV Hunting Wild Boar" 1632-7 Diego Velasquez 

"Philip IV Hunting Wild Boar" 1632-7 Diego Velasquez 

In my current work, I have been designing a long thin window which happens to have a series of linked enclosures. I like them to have open points so you can get in and out. I also like them to have straight sides - an oval or a circle makes you feel trapped like the wild boars above. The enclosures in this design are bordered by flower beds rather than walls. They started by containing a string of plums, this went as the design progressed but came back again in the final glass panel. 

Garden Plums, sketches showing development of the design

 Finished window in my studio, 300 x 1300 mm. 

Finished window in my studio, 300 x 1300 mm. 

  Garden Plums  detail: gold and pale green enamel, the textures and colours look great.

Garden Plums detail: gold and pale green enamel, the textures and colours look great.

The window is on its way to Poland, the third one for the house of my friend & glass artist Frances Federer. Read her entertaining, informative blog about her journeys between England & Poland here