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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Exhibition: London Ablaze

Major celebrations are taking place in The City of London to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire, which occurred between 2nd and 5th September 1666. 

As part of these celebrations, the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, a City Livery Company, has chosen 10 London secondary schools each to design a piece of glass artwork on the theme of the Great Fire, in collaboration with a leading contemporary glass artist. The resulting works from these collaborations will be on display at an exhibition, London Ablaze, at the church of St Stephen Walbrook, next to the Mansion House, at the heart of the City on Thursday 1 st and Friday 2nd September (10am - 4pm). The Friday is the 350th anniversary of the day the Great Fire started. 

Early in 2016 the Glass Sellers’ Company selected ten artists and ten schools, allocating an artist to each school. Up to 15 students in Year 8 or 9 (age range 13-15) were chosen by each school to work with the artist. The process started by pupils learning about what happened during the Great Fire. They then worked with the artist for at least a day to design a work that interpreted the pupils’ vision of the Great Fire. The artists have then produced the works in their studios. 

The ten works are also being judged, with the winning school, teacher, pupils and artist receiving a glass work made especially by Andreya Bennett. The winner will be announced at a reception in the Church this evening (Thursday 1st September) at 5.00pm. The judges are Katharine Coleman MBE (glass engraver), Neil Hughes (Managing Director of Dartington Crystal) and Maria Chanmugam (a Trustee of the Glass Sellers’ charity). Eight of the 10 schools have associations with City Livery Companies. 

After being exhibited in the City, London Ablaze will move to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire where it will be exhibited for the month of September. On 29th September many of the pupils who have taken part in the Project will participate in a special day held by Hatfield House about Tudor and Stuart history including the Great Fire. 

The Master of the Glass Sellers’ Company, William Knocker, says “We looked for an original way for glass to celebrate this great historical event. As our contribution to the City of London celebrations, the project has delivered all we wanted and more, creating an exciting opportunity for cross-curricular exploration between humanities and art in the participating schools.”


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