Church furnishings, church furnishings,
An illustrated tour of works of art in stained glass, fabrics and textiles, metal and fine woods in Melbourne churches
Largely uninfluenced by the world of art dealers and collecting as understood by a commercial market, churches house a variety of works designed for liturgical or devotional use, which are at the same time works of art.
While some churches may be home to only one or two such works that can engage the attention, others show consistency in style between many, if not all such fittings, and the building itself. Melbourne's churches encompass interesting examples of nineteenth century revival gothic and fine work influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, with matching fittings, superb woodcarvings in traditional style by post-war migrants from central Europe, and works in metal and glass in more contemporary styles. Australian national consciousness emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, as native flora and fauna appeared in woodcarving and metalwork, reappearing with the craft revival of the 1960s and 1970s.
Where is there a fine embroidery in Byzantine style on a modern altar frontal? Or a major Guy Boyd sculpture? Or a series of Stations of the Cross, copies of which were given as diplomatic gifts to Iron Curtain countries during the Cold War? Where is there a nineteenth-century window showing the person to whom it was a memorial in a New Testament scene? Or a contemporary window by a Polish artist who has received a commission for St George's Chapel, Windsor?
This tour will answer some of these questions, as we visit a range of Peninsula churches and examine their fittings.