Horticultural artists Tony Heywood and Alison Condie have done many cool projects over their years of working together, but my far-and-away favorite is a stained glass greenhouse dubbed Sacre Blur. Not content with just repurposing existing stained glass artworks, the pair dismantled antique pieces and put them back together in bizarre and wonderful forms, making new fantastical creatures and scenes. The overall impression is still of religious-themed stained glass windows, but when you look closer, the message is very different.
“The idea is nature transforming and using the stained glass as a medium to visit a (time) when we worshiped plants, insects, and animals, as opposed to the Christian line of thinking that humans are above animals, above everything… Church is about shifting our consciousness and making us think of where we lie in the world and likewise, whether it’s a psychedelic experience or a meditative experience, it’s about shifting our attention. Gardening is an act of creation.”-Tony Heywood
Heywood and Condie originally intended the greenhouse to contain psychedelic plants at the Oxford Botanic Gardens. However, after some discussion and careful consideration, they realized the danger of having hallucinatory plants available to the public, so that part of the project was scrapped. The title Sacre Blur, however, remains as a reminder of the original plans.