Crown of Thorns


Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thrones

In the mid-1960s Jonah was commissioned by the architect E. Bower Norris to create four large windows to sit beneath the dome of the new Catholic Church of the English Martyrs at Hillmorton, in Rugby, Warwickshire. With a theme of the crown of thorns, each dalle de verre (slab glass) window measured about 9 metres long by about 3.5 metres high.

The dalle de verre technique was in its infancy during the 1960s, and unfortunately the structural matrix for the windows proved inadequate. This was an architectural fault, making the lower panels liable to be crushed by the weight of those above. Ultimately when the first transom (cross piece) broke loose it brought the panel above it down. Soon two of the windows became dangerous and in 2012 the parish consultative council took the decision to remove all the windows. Regrettably they were fatally stacked horizontally rather than vertically in the open air, which caused extensive damage and the complete loss of all the work.

Scene & Word worked with South African photographer Leah Rolando to develop a set of two photographic treatments from original photographs taken in 2009 by Stephen Brayne for Scene & Word when the windows were still intact. This one shows all four windows, taking advantage of their distinctive triangular appearance to create a Christmas tree effect.

Crown of Thorns

By Jonah Jones, dalle de verre, 1965–66. Photo print on 200 GSM Universal Photo Paper. Available unmounted in A2. Paper size: 59.9 cms x 42.50 cms (23.58 inches x 16.73 inches). Print size: 59.4 cms x 42.00 cms (23.38 inches x 16.54 inches) plus a 0.5 cm (0.2 inch) white border for framing.

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