Keith New Stained Glass, Bucklers Mead Academy, Yeovil, Somerset

20th Century

Conservation of 2 stained glass panels in preparation for light box display, in the newly refurbished school reception area.

Keith New (1925 – 2012) is an important 20th century British designer.  His work can also be found in Coventry Cathedral and Bristol Cathedral, among others.  These two marvellous stained glass panels – ‘Dance’ and ‘Pastoral’ – are  hugely expressive, lively, and scintillating in colour.  Using traditional stained glass materials, but in a modern way, his technique was extremely creative – a free and random acid-etch method to produce multiple colours within one piece of glass, and the use of handmade glass; undulating in thickness, creating depth and texture.  In 1957 he donated the two stained glass panels to the school in Yeovil, as part of a nationwide initiative to get public art into schools.  They were originally installed in the school entrance in time for its opening in 1958.  More recently, as part of a large scale refurbishment of the school, art historian and church buildings advisor Diana Coulter, drew attention to their importance, and consequently Holy Well Glass were appointed to carry out conservation work and prepare them for display in custom-built LED light boxes, in the newly refurbished reception area.  Around the outer reaches of the panels there were some broken pieces to be repaired and missing areas to be repainted, which was hugely enjoyable for our glass painters, who did  an excellent job in immersing themselves in the feel of the panels.