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Education News Swansea West Wales

Abstract stained-glass panels inspired by Swansea artist Glenys Cour

A BEAUTIFUL Exhibition of Children’s artworks produced by local primary school pupils working with Swansea College of Art UWTSD is on public display at St Mary’s Church in Swansea City Centre until Friday, April 12.

Year 5 and 6 pupils from five Swansea schools took part in free creative workshops with the Swansea College of Art Outreach team.

The pupils made an abstract stained-glass panel inspired by the work of Swansea artist Glenys Cour, who studied and taught at UWTSD.
In 2024 Glenys Cour is celebrating her centenary year.

Swansea College of Art, UWTSD holds a series of Glenys Cours’ collages which were part of the design process for a stained-glass window.

Practical workshops guided pupils to use a similar collage technique resulting in an individual ‘stained glass’ flower panel on the theme of Easter and Spring using card and collaged tissue.

Dr Amanda Roberts, who heads outreach at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD said: “This project, has been an amazing opportunity to introduce a new generation of young artists to the inspirational paintings and stained glass of Glenys Cour.

“We are proud of Glenys’ connections to Swansea College of Art, and it has been magical seeing local children respond to her work with such enthusiasm and creativity. St Marys Church is a fantastic location to display the children’s beautiful artistic outcomes, creating our own Glenys Cour tribute in a visually striking and thematically appropriate setting.”

Rev Canon Justin Davies said, “The stained glass in St Mary’s church is one of its distinctive features that very many visitors marvel at when they come to the church and much of it was either designed or made in Swansea. It’s a joy to work with the University and local schools to celebrate the school of glass art and the work of Glenys Cour. The theme of Spring and Easter fits perfectly with the Holy Week season.”

Children from the following schools took part in the project:

  • Sketty Primary School, who are studying Glenys Cour as part of their curriculum.
  • Christchurch (Church in Wales) Primary School
  • Sea View Community School
  • St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary school
  • Cwm Glas Primary School

Swansea College of Art Surface Pattern student Aimee Rayner designed and cut the ‘stained glass’ frames, Illustration MA student Izzy Coombs helped deliver the workshop and Art After Dark Tutor and Design Craft graduate Hannah Davies helped install the work.

Glenys Cour was born in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire in 1924 and studied at Cardiff College of Art under Ceri Richards. She lectured at Swansea College of Art for many years in both the Painting and Architectural Glass Departments. Her work as painter and designer has been exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and USA. She has held major exhibitions at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea (2003), St. Davids Hall, Cardiff (1991) and Attic Gallery, Swansea (2005).

For many years collage was her main medium of expression. More recently she has returned to the landscape for inspiration and most recently of all, flowers have caught her imagination. Her main preoccupation is with colour, and her work both in oil on paper and on canvas, she sees as metaphors for the drama, mystery and mood of the landscapes, seascapes and skies of Gower. Her inspiration has come from the work of Rothko, Turner and Caspar David Friedrich.

“It was fun experimenting with different colours and shapes,” said Lottie a year 6 pupil.

Razan a year 6 pupil said, “I enjoyed that the work was based on a real life Welsh artist. It wasn’t like anything that we have done before – everyone’s work is unique.”

The Headteacher of Sea View Community Primary School commented, “Everyone at Sea View thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Glenys Cour workshops and collaborating alongside the artists from UWTSD. This was a unique experience and allowed our leaners to explore their creativity in a fun and inspirational series of workshops – thank you all!

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to work with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. They thoroughly enjoyed learning about the work of local artist Glenys Cour, and they were inspired to create their own ‘stained glass’ windows under Amanda’s guidance.
“It was lovely to see the pupils being creative contributors and for their work to be displayed in the beautiful setting of St Mary’s church. A fabulous project to be part of and a lovely celebration of Glenys Cour’s contribution to art and the city of Swansea.” said a year 6 teacher from Sketty Primary School.

A year 5 teacher from St Joseph’s Cathedral School agreed, “The children of St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary loved the light illuminating their designs and transforming the colour texture and shapes of their rosettes to tell the story of their pieces just as Glenys Cour does in her own work. A simply beautiful project working with Amanda Roberts from Swansea College of Art, UWTSD Diolch yn fawr iawn.”

An art college education is unlike any other form of university education. Its uniqueness lies in the way in which it fosters, directs and encourages individuality, creativity and innovation. The UK has an amazingly rich and diverse range of art colleges with a distinguished heritage of producing globally recognised artists, designers, animators, filmmakers, and performers. Swansea College of Art, as the oldest and most established art college in Wales, is a well-respected part of that tradition.