The Church of St Lawrence, Longridge
St Lawrence with St Paul, Preston, Lancashire
1975 – 1976
"A major advance on his earlier stained glass, the Longridge series may be considered the first stained glass of Clarke's maturity. Referring in a non-literal way to the surrounding landscape, the 20 abstract 'panels' present a disarmingly sophisticated extension, or revision, of the narrative and didactic traditions of stained glass. They insist on being 'read' in sequence, incorporating the kinetics of fluctuations in the lighting conditions and the amount of time the viewer takes to move from window to window." – Martin Harrison in Brian Clarke: Architectural Artist.
Brian on the suite of windows he designed for St Lawrence 'depicting, semi-abstracted, local scenes such as the River Ribble, Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell and Fairsnape Fell, and the local reservoirs and quarries', in the 2011 BBC Four documentary Colouring Light - An Artist Apart: "Longridge was a whole series of windows on the upper gallery of a church that had particularly good light because there was nothing interrupting the light on either the north or the south walls of the church. It was the first time anybody had asked me to do a suite of windows, rather than an individual thing. There wasn’t any stained glass in those days, that used such big sheets of colour. I based the thing on the kind of green and blue of those wonderful hills and reservoirs that exist around that part of Lancashire. It was really just a very youthful, joyous, celebration of the medium, in a building. I think that was the first time I really knew that I wanted to alter the building, I wanted to make a contribution to the building as a whole."
The designs for the scheme of windows, a series of collages and watercolour studies, have been exhibited at museums and intsitutions worldwide, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, in The Art of Light.