East Window, Shirazeh Houshiary and Pip Horne, 2008, Church of St Martin in the Fields, City of Westminster, London. Commissioned by St Martin in the Fields through Modus Operandi Art Consultants. Photo: James Morris
This work is a collaboration between the 2004 Turner Prize nominated artist Shirazeh Houshiary, and architect Pip Horne. It was commissioned for St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square as part of a £34 million Lottery-funded refurbishment of the church (undertaken by Eric Parry Architects), and took the place of a temporary glass panel that had filled the window for over sixty years, following World War Two bombing. The budget for the window was approximately £200,000 plus infrastructure and management costs.
A long-list of over twenty artists was drawn up by Modus Operandi Art Consultants and a short-list invited to respond to the brief. Houshiary and Horne’s proposal was selected from a final short-list of five artists by the Art Panel that included Revd. Nicholas Holtam, Vicar, international art critic Richard Cork and National Gallery Director Charles Saumarez Smith, advised by Vivien Lovell, Director of Modus Operandi. Visitors to the church were also invited to comment on the short-listed artists’ designs, exhibited in the church, prior to the artist being selected.
Held within a stainless steel framework, the work is made of handmade glass panels etched with a fine pattern. Following the success of this commission, Houshiary and Horne went on to win the competition to design the new altar for the church, to be located directly under East Window.