Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
My earliest memories of the many churches in which I have worshipped around the world are crystal-clear recollections of wall-mounted bronze memorial slabs and beautiful stained-glass windows. So with this week's Photo Hunt theme being "Glass", I scrapped my initial plan of posting a series of photographs shot in the reflection of glass panes.
Instead, this post honours not just the faith that I learnt as a child, but also the ancient art of churches adorned with stained glass windows. I shot this series of photographs at St John's Lutheran Church in Southgate, Melbourne.
These first two shots (above) were taken outside the church and, as the bearded and affable Kevin said in answer to my question, they were not part of the original building. The original church was located near City Road, not far from the present site. But it was demolished in 1989 as Southgate was being developed - and was re-built at the new site, in the shadow of the Victorian Arts Centre.
This shot (above) and all the subsequent photographs were taken in the little chapel beside the main church building and pretty much everything here is from the original building.
This (above) is another view of the same window, to give you an idea of the wide range of colours used in its construction.
This (above) is one of two arched windows from the old church and it now hangs on the east wall of the chapel.
I was so fascinated by the expressions of the disciples that I framed this close-up (above) to give you a better look.
This pastel shot (above) is the lower section of the main stained-glass window. You'll notice (if you haven't done so already) that the dark shapes in the foreground are actually the rounded ends of the pews, which were also part of the original church. I was really lucky with the afternoon light in this shot, because it just seems to caress the dark silhouettes of the hand-carved wood of the pews.
This final shot (above) is an interesting one. I'm not sure which side the original window faced, but in the chapel it now faces south. And as I lined up the frame, I realised I could actually see the hazy outline of an high-rise apartment building in the middle distance. Look carefully and you'll see it too - in the form of a slightly darker shadow on the red section of the glass.
How very intriguing, to think that the view through this beautiful stained-glass window is so dramatically different to what it was all those years ago, when the window was first fitted into place in the original building.