Funded by the Foyle Foundation, this Creative Youth commission asked for artists to highlight the heritage that lies within FUSEBOX, including the Medieval Undercroft and the stone foundations of the Old Kingston Bridge. The project aims to engage both local and wider communities in the history of Kingston, as well as inspire creativity and engagement within FUSEBOX and throughout the borough.
We received a high number of exceptional applications that drew upon Kingston’s rich history, combined with unique creative perspectives across a wide range of artistic mediums.
We are thrilled to announce that our selected artist is Steph Ward.
Having graduated from Kingston School of Art in 2019, Steph has been involved in many community arts projects in and around Kingston.
“I am a multi-hyphenate artist, not specialising in any one medium but instead led by my love of learning new crafts, incorporating them within my more traditional fine art education and then using these to work within the community.”
Steph’s proposal for our heritage installation is to design and create a stained-glass window installation, illustrating the history of Crafts and Community in Kingston. Steph will incorporate strong visual elements that delve into Kingston’s craft-based history. This includes the historic practises and materials used within the ancient artefacts’ creation, discovery and excavation processes. Steph is also keen to explore both its social and architectural contexts.
Steph’s decision to explore stained-glass came from its heavy presence across Kingston, featured on some of the town’s historic buildings such as All Saints Church with its windows dating back to 1852. It is regarded as a resilient and historic medium, proven to stand the test of time. Steph’s engagement with stained-glass for this commission contributes to creating a permanent legacy within Kingston and to inspire future crafts within the community.
“Through my research I have found evidence of many crafts in Kingston, such as blacksmiths, breweries, fishing, farming sheep and cattle, weaving, spinning and stain glass itself.”
Stained-glass has since evolved as an artistic medium, with the craft being incorporated throughout various art movements since its regeneration in the 19th century. This includes abstractism, expressionism and post-modernist symbolism, which Steph draws inspiration from.
Steph is an advocate for the continual practise of ancient craft techniques and encourages others to learn from them, whilst considering how they may benefit us in the present day. Ancient techniques such as stained-glass brings forth an appreciation of craftmanship, along with the process of creating work that is unique and made by hand.
We are incredibly excited to be supporting Steph in the process of creating this stained-glass installation. By experimenting with light, shape and colour, this project aims to deliver a contemporary perspective on the history of Kingston and engage communities in the local heritage.
With our Artist Heritage Project now officially underway, make sure to watch this space as FUSEBOX’s heritage installation progresses.