Giant stained glass images to be projected on to Museum & Art Gallery

Giant images of stained glass works by Shrewsbury-born artist Margaret Rope will be projected onto the front of the town’s Museum & Art Gallery on the evening of Tuesday 25 October between 7pm and 9pm.

The projection will be the work of international light artist Andy McKeown and is a celebration of the exhibition ‘Heavenly Lights – the untold story of Shrewsbury stained glass artist Margaret Agnes Rope’, which runs at the Museum until 15 January.

On the evening of 25 October the Museum will open late, until 9pm, and there will also be drop-in stained-glass inspired workshops for children with community artist Jamila Walker – offering the chance to make jam-jar lanterns and coloured designs out of straws. The workshops run from 5pm to 9pm and are included within the Museum’s usual admission fee. Parents are invited too.

The workshops will also run on Wednesday 26 October between 10am and 2pm.

Andy McKeown said:

“I have a longstanding passion for stained glass in all its forms and it has featured in a great many of my building illuminations. It is a delight to be able to illuminate Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery with fragments and panels from this wonderful exhibition.”

Jamila Walker said:

“The workshops will be accessible, colourful and fun, giving children and their parents the opportunity to create bold simple pieces as well as intricate sculptures and lanterns, all inspired by the vibrant works of Margaret Rope.”

For more information about the celebration event visit www.shrewsburymuseum.org/events.

For more information about Jamila Walker, visit www.jamilawalker.webeden.co.uk.

“Heavenly Lights – The untold story of Shrewsbury stained glass artist Margaret Agnes Rope” is open at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery until 15 January 2017 but closed on Mondays from October (not including Monday 24 October, which is half-term week).

About Margaret Agnes Rope

Margaret Agnes Rope, born in 1882, produced stained-glass that can be found in churches and cathedrals on three continents, and which is now also collected by American museums – but she is now largely forgotten here in the UK, and even in her home town of Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury Cathedral window detail med

Margaret Rope’s stained glass window at Shrewsbury Cathedral.

Examples of Margaret Rope’s work can be seen in Shrewsbury (at the town’s Cathedral and at St Mary’s Church) and in churches across the UK, from Suffolk to South Wales to Scotland. Her stained glass windows can also be seen at churches in Australia, South Africa and Rome – and in museums in Los Angeles and New York.

‘Marga’, as she was called, was an instinctive rebel – known for smoking cheroot cigars, riding a motorbike and wearing her hair short – in an era when women had few opportunities to express themselves artistically. Without backing from a patron, rich family or husband, she made her own way in her career, one of a new generation of artists as much at home in a workshop as in a drawing-studio.

Her work – influenced by the ‘Later Arts & Crafts’ style – soon became well-known for its jewelled dazzling colours, its personal stamp, its startling modernism, and its sense of spiritual vibrancy.

Yet, within barely a decade of her first success, she chose to become a Catholic nun, moving into an ‘enclosed’ convent. However, even now, shut away from the world, she continued to work, in a small studio provided by the other nuns.