Nicola Hopwood

Concepts I design and make contemporary stained glass windows for public buildings, business premises and private homes. Public buildings include: one castle, ten churches, two libraries and two hospitals to date. I aim to produce works which are sympathetic to the building and its function, whilst exploring themes and ideas in new ways. Involvement of the commissioners and users of a building is always important during consultation - they are a key source of material in all my work, see artwork 1, St. Andrew's Brockley. My designs encourage the viewer to react with each window and become involved on different levels, visually, emotionally and spiritually. Influences Much of my work is inspired by written word eg. poetry or, in the case of church windows, the Psalms. I love the rich, natural colours of 14th Century glass - this connects with the rural places where I have spent much of my life. Stained glass artists whose work I admire include John Piper and Graham Jones. Career path I came late to stained glass, in 1986. I studied part time with Mark Angus over five years, building up commissions and my portfolio. I have developed my working practice through public and private commissions since 1988. I relish new challenges. My current work in hand includes a window for a church in Pontypridd, part of a major project to connect the building with the adjacent hall. I am very comfortable working within a church context, with the wealth of opportunities for development of great themes, but I also love the chance to work in secular spaces, where I can sometimes explore my own ideas in a more playful and experimental way. A key element of my practice is the development of vibrant working relationships within the commissioning process. read full statement

Location Hay on Wye, Wales