We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the visionary stained glass artist, Brian Clarke, for being knighted in HM The King's New Year Honours list for 2024.
In response to the announcement, Clarke expressed his surprise and gratitude, stating, "It's wonderful to be recognized for one's work, but to be honored for it is truly encouraging. I come from a working-class background, and my art is dedicated to the working class, aiming to beautify the spaces it inhabits."
Once primarily known as a painter, Clarke has gained prominence for his work in stained glass in recent years. Reflecting on this, he emphasized the rich history of stained glass in the country and its profound impact on culture and architecture. He sees stained glass as a thrilling medium that lifts spirits and contributes to the articulation of architectural forms.
Acknowledging the significance of the knighthood, Clarke remarked, "Anything like this will contribute to supporting the continuation of what is a unique and special part of our visual arts culture."
Celebrating his 70th birthday in July 2023, Clarke is currently exhibiting his collection, "A Great Light," at Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery in London until January 7, 2024. The exhibition, presented by HENI, showcases works dating from 2002 to the present day.
Throughout his career, Clarke has pushed the boundaries of stained glass, moving it beyond its traditional religious context through technological innovations and creative presentations. His current exhibition exemplifies the versatility of the medium, featuring works like 'Ardath,' a 42m2 wall of mouth-blown glass, and 'Stroud Ossuary,' a towering depiction of skulls.
Clarke's contributions extend globally, with commissions from renowned designers, including Arata Isozaki and the late Zaha Hadid. His work is part of permanent collections in prestigious institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the Tate.
We also note that fellow British stained glass artist John Reyntiens was honored with an MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours list, alongside Barbara Beadman, who received an MBE for her services to the glass industry.