Studio: international art — 84.1922

Page: 208
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1922a/0228
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THE ART OF MISS W. M. GEDDES.
BY STEPHEN GWYNN. a a a

MISS GEDDES is a young artist, but
it is ten years since work of hers
shown in Dublin attracted notice and led to
the suggestion that she should join the
Dublin workers in stained glass, who have
been at 24, Upper Pembroke Street, for
now some twenty years. Without that
invitation Miss Geddes might never have
been drawn to employ this medium for
which her talent seems to have been
created. Her woodcuts, some of which
were shown in the exhibition which
accompanied the recent Horse Show at
Ballsbridge are powerful work; but I do
not think them equal to the drawing of
her cartoons ; she needs space to develop
her full quality. Or perhaps, simply, the
woodcuts are less simple, and she has a
gift for the simple rendering of essential
action which seems to have come straight
from the middle ages. Again the embroid-
ered panels, designed as blazonry for
banners, which she showed at the same
exhibition, were admirable pieces of colour
and it is wonderful what expression she
can give to a face with a few stitches of
coarse brown thread. But in its essence
this was only a new application of the
glass painter's technique. The bulk of
her work has gone into stained glass, and
it is important both by quantity and quality.
Yet like all artists in this kind she is hard
to appraise justly because a representative
exhibition of her work is impossible. a
The exhibits at Ballsbridge comprised
three small panels (reproduced on p. 210),
one of which is the earliest piece of her
glass work: and there was also there the
coloured cartoon for the five lancet
windows in the apse at St. Luke's,
Wallsend-on-Tyneside—her latest and her
principal achievement. Physically alone,
the advance in the scale of the work is
surprising ; and in all senses this window-
group is a big thing for a woman to have
done. It is a crucifixion : the extended
arms of the crucified bind together the
three central lights : but essentially the
whole design is one. It has a higher
degree of unity than her large window
erected in St. Bartholomew's Church at
Ottawa as a memorial to the members of
208

" THE PARABLE OF THE VIRGINS "
PORTION OF WINDOW IN PRES-
BYTERIAN ASSEMBLY HALL, BEL-
FAST, DESIGNED BY W. M. GEDDES
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