York Minster in Colour

York Minster. Photo by D. M. GermanThe austere grey exterior of York Minster, in the City of York, is a famous medieval landmark. Patrice Warrener and Tim Blake have created a new vision of the building; a colourful play on gothic architecture, projected onto the building itself. Photographer Daniel M. German captured the event on his website. Given Britain’s rich architectural heritage, it’s good to see people interacting with and having fun with it.

My visits to France and Belgium have shown that they are not afraid of interacting with historic buildings in new and interesting ways, often using lighting techniques, but we remain quite reserved in the UK. In France, it’s quite common to see “son et lumiéres” advertised, with illuminated chateaux and woodland walks. Heritage shouldn’t always be a museum…

3 Responses to York Minster in Colour

  1. Tehmina 22 January, 2006 at 10:01 pm #

    You are quite right. This country seems to have suffered psychologically from the white-washing of churches that occured from the Reformation to the Victorian era. Our interest in colour in our buildings, food and clothing has faded to grey, beige, brown and black. Now, more than at any other time in history, do we require the joy of colours. And lots of them.

  2. Tom 22 January, 2006 at 10:14 pm #

    True, I’d forgotten about the Reformation. The once colourful, beautiful interiors (and exteriors), of our churches, scrubbed away and whitewashed. In the name of a more ‘pure’ form of Christianity, of course.

    Ironically, it was in the oft-viewed ‘austere’ Victorian period that we had the restoration of many wall paintings in some British churches, such as the Doom painting in the church of St Thomas, Salisbury.

    Here’s to colour!

  3. David St. Hubbins 22 January, 2006 at 10:54 pm #

    Check out St. Cross chapel for a fine example of a whitewashing. Bah.
    OTOH, I associate Victorian architecture with some wonderful excesses and fiddly bits. Constructional polychromy was often a feature of inner city churches and the civic building made marvellous use of local materials and colour. Dunedin station ( http://www.cityofdunedin.com/city/?page=restore_railway ) is a fine example.
    You might even say it goes to 11.