East Window is a striking, site-specific design that unexpectedly warps a large church window into a visually intriguing abstraction. The installation, created by Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary, is located in the east window at Church of St. Martin in the Fields (Trafalgar Square, London). Reminiscent of a cross, the horizontal and vertical lines move towards a central opening that allows light to pass through.
The grid-like concept blends elements of religion with complex architecture, forming a monochromatic piece that produces a unique light experience. The window is held within a stainless steel framework composed of a number of handmade glass panels, each of which is etched with fragments of Houshiary’s paintings to create a subtle feathery pattern on both sides of the glass.
The project was commissioned to replace a window that had been shattered by bombs during World War II. The contemporary piece, juxtaposed with the classic architecture, permits light to radiate throughout the space in what was once dark and dank and out-of-date. When speaking about her work, Houshiary says, “The universe is in a process of disintegration. Everything is in a state of erosion, and yet we try to stabilize it. This tension fascinates me and it’s at the core of my work.”