Knowledge is Power
Stained Glass in Lightbox, 66cm x 95cm, 2021
I like the chaotic, accidentally cubist style of old windows that have been broken and haphazardly repaired many times over the centuries.
Here, the subject is knowledge, or more precisely, access to education, particularly for girls. It’s symbolised by a crow (using a hooked tool, which humans can’t do until the age of 8!) and a winking owl, which is defecating on a freemasonry emblem.
The girl on the right is holding a torch which has attracted tiny moths, symbolising enlightenment through studying the natural world. She also has a flagpole with a condom flying from it. Nearby are pieces of computer code and on her lapel, an image of a road to a stepped mountain, symbolising ambition and curiosity and inspired by those otherworldly landscapes often seen in the backgrounds of old, religious windows about pilgrims.
The girl on the left has an electric guitar and is writing the words ‘Knowledge is Power’ in seven of the world’s most commonly-used languages - Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Spanish, Chinese and French. The tease is that many English speakers don’t bother to learn other languages, so they won’t understand the scroll until they read the title of the piece.