'Spitfires' HENI Edition
2016 – 2017
Edition of 70 unique variants published by HENI.
"I think that the most interesting of my Spitfires works is the edition of stained glass panels. The process of firing has made the painting’s reproduction on each panel, its shade and tone, unique. I chose the mouth-blown glass for every clear Spitfire, and some I painted by hand with silver stain, enriching their colour range. Configured with different numbers of black Spitfires and of clear, coloured ones, the transmission of light through the panels is moderated and controlled by the opaque printed cloud and the shapes of the solid black aircraft, giving the transparent planes real life. The shapes are no longer funereal shadows – sensation is turned upside down, the background blocks out the light, and as sunlight passes through them, the stained glass Spitfires transilluminate a varied palette across the physical world.
The tormented and tumultuous clouds that they traverse are now penetrated by pure colour: the black, unforgiving sign of destruction transformed into intangible jewels that play across wooden floors, ceramic tiles and furniture, across pets and books and children. The stained glass Spitfires, holding on to their unique heraldry, swim across our view – kissing and alighting a moment here, a moment there; briefly animating everything they touch with magic, casting light across all and everything. Stained glass is the only medium that can do this and it is now clear to me that its secrets are still being teased out: step-by-step the medium reveals itself. Not a static historical art, but alive – here and now." – Brian, in the catalogue Spitfires, published by HENI.