Thomas Denny (b.1956) is one the best-known contemporary stained glass artists and has created windows in several important places, including Hereford Cathedral. He has an instantly recognisable style; dense, dark, luminous, textured, layered, minutely detailed, heavily painted and scratched, stippled, and scumbled. The results are mystical and strange, with half-glimpsed, half-hidden animals, trees, people, landscapes and buildings. Some of his windows are placed at eye level so it is possible to examine them carefully, and once you start, it's difficult to stop trying to making out all the tiny, almost ghostly, elements. In the Hereford windows I found apples trees (of course) and stags, country lanes and ploughed fields, spires and towers, and all sorts of iridescent insects, spotted moths and butterfly wings.
Although they are not immediately obvious, it soon becomes clear that there are insects camouflaged all over the windows which are dedicated to the Metaphysical poet Thomas Traherne. He wrote that 'the Creation of Insects affords us a Clear Picture of Almighty Power' and Denny has captured perfectly his lyrical descriptions of flies and their 'Burnisht, and Resplendent Bodies...like Orient Gold, or Polisht Steel'.
These are very particular windows which are so densely packed and painted that it's hard to believe they are made of glass - until the sun comes out and the chapel is filled with glowing colour and all the insects are made visible. Well worth a long game of I-Spy a Butterfly.