Stormont Castle, Belfast

Stormont Castle, Belfast

Influenced by the poem 'Man, Fish and Bird' by John Hewitt, this stained glass feature is positioned in the main stairwell of Stormont Castle, Belfast.

The all embracing images incorporated in the design are taken from the poem 'Man, Fish and Bird' by John Hewitt, an Ulster poet.

The green man represented by the child is spring bringing new life with the young shoots growing up around him promising a continuity of life.

The yellow fish jumps upwards towards the heavens, illuminating the darkness, and bringing joy and life like the dawning of a new day or a reference to the new millennium.

The red bird dives towards the earth representing the heart of the people and as Hewitt says in his poem  'Ulster Names'  "The names of the land show the heart of the race" therefore people and the land are as one.

The woven tapestry's in sepia tones recall elements from our history, early Christian, linen, paper, famine, water wheel, ship building, aircraft, farming, music, sport, distillery, pottery and so on.  These help give a sense of achievement in the recent past.

The suggestion of an egg shape symbolises the "circumambience" mentioned in the poem or the embodiment of our ancestral journey, a sense of the link to our distant past.  The man, fish and bird seem to leap from the centre to the unknown, a reference to our future.

The bright colours, red, yellow and green emphasise hope.  These images along with the mood of the colouring I think give a sense of the depth of John Hewitt's poem and the "circumambience" of all that Northern Ireland encompasses.