Interpretation of the Stained Glass

The two GBMC chapel windows are daring and unparalleled presentations of light which envision religious and dialogue for the 21st century.

Playful virtuosity with sweeping tonal gestures reminiscent of Franz Kline meeting Sam Francis fill the glass tableau of the artist, Peter Wm. Gray of Los Altos, California who holds a Ph.D in theology and art and whose creativity and designs have won national and international recognition.

The first window runs directly from the main lobby of the GBMC into a busy corridor where patients, staff and visitors pass, meet and constantly move. The 152 panels of four thousand pieces of hand-cut leaded glass act as a large white wave of opal or a flowing river of furrowed channels where Dr. Gray conceals and reveals medical and scientific props and instruments. Within each curve a repository of geometric shapes stand out in pools of muted color, bordered by prisms or silverstained lenses. The composition reflects the shadows of the public's movements while simultaneously emitting glances from the chapel's interior. Indeed, this wall of glass contains an active dialogue of different vectors of movement, each pulling in a horizontal direction yet centralized into harmony by the embracing folds of moss green framing.

The second window defines the interior parameter of the chapel's sanctuary and falls under the category of a "glass canvas". Gray has created a sensation of organic movement translated onto 76 panels of hand blown glass with paint equally subtracted by broad, bold stokes of acid. The sanctuary wall pulsates at night, as well as, day, constantly recreating itself from the vagaries of light-a deliberate enigmatic statement full of symbolic allusions to water, wind, light and biological fluids. "For me," states Dr. Gray, "the challenge was to discover a motif which would contain the vital exchanges of religion and science. When one really looks at the glass, one senses a cosmic display of life forces shaping us in sprays replicating the chemical evidences found on laboratory slides or the gentle underlying dance of water or a scene of a mysterious divine meeting caught at night. Each person who comes into this chapel is invited to enter into a time and space totally different from the pragmatic profile of the medical center's reality. To pray or to worship or to sit in silence here is to approach the wholly other, to intercede, to commune or to submit...here I have tried to negotiate some of nature's primal elements: fire, sand, water and light to fashion a unique ecumenical vision for the religious character of the human heart."

 

 

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