Stunning new glasswork on display in Sunderland Minster

New glass artwork has gone on display at Sunderland Minster and is catching the eye of both parishioners and visitors.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 2:11 pm

The stunning display is called Colonial Ghost and it explores “the connection between colonisation and the growth of Christianity in African countries”.

It features 12 crosses each made up of five human figures, held in place by prominent nails. The artist behind the display is Cameroon-born Pascale Marthine Tayou.

Pascale was born in Nkongsamba in western Cameroon. He now lives and works in Ghent, Belgium and Yaoundé, Cameroon's capital.

Colonial Ghost creator Pascale Marthine Tayou.

The exhibition is part of a wider project called Glass Exchange, which sees four high-profile contemporary artists commissioned to create new work in glass.

The commissions will be created at the National Glass Centre, then exhibited at venues including Durham Cathedral as well as Sunderland Minster.

Julia Stephenson, head of arts, at the National Glass Centre, said: “Through Colonial Ghost, Pascale aims to invite the viewer to consider connections between colonisation and the spread of Christianity in African countries.

“Pascale’s work is diverse both in terms of subject matter and media as are his references to geography, cultural origins and the human and natural world. His practice is closely linked to the idea of travel and of coming into contact with that which is new and different.”

The stunning new glasswork will be displayed in Sunderland Minster until January.

Rev Stuart Bain, who oversaw installation of Colonial Ghost before his retirement as provost at Sunderland Minster, said: “The figures are very beautiful and the exhibition thought provoking. It’s had plenty of interest and comment from parishioners and visitors.”

Colonial Ghost is the first of the four commissions to be publicly displayed and will be shown at the church until January before being re-displayed at the National Glass Centre on a larger scale and with up to 25 crosses, from March 26 until September 11, 2022.

The other commissions are by Scottish visual artist Katie Paterson and Turner Prize nominee Monster Chetwynd, both to be shown in Durham Cathedral.

The fourth is by Ryan Gander, who was awarded an OBE for services to contemporary art. His work will be displayed in Sunderland city centre.

The stunning new glasswork will be displayed in Sunderland Minster until January.

For more information on Glass Exchange visit

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