Our Window on the Pier
In 2017 West Sussex County Council awarded funding to Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week (WMHAW) from the Wellbeing Fund in order to commission a window on the pier. The application had to show how the Window would promote mental health according to the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” criteria.
Any worries I might have had about Siobhan being able to reproduce the WMHAW logo, which was originally designed by Allie Beddard, in a medium such as glass were quickly forgotten the instant I met her. Siobhan was more than enthusiastic when she saw the bright WMHAW logo on our website. Before I could draw breath, she had captured and projected the logo onto her workbench and was busy finding samples of coloured glass to show me.
I talked through the symbolism of each element in the logo and how they related to an aspect of mental health. I was confident that Siobhan would cherish all the significant elements, and enjoy the creativity and freedom to interpret the logo in her own style.
Siobhan uses fused glass, which needs firing in a kiln, rather than stained glass which is joined by thin pieces of metal. She explained to me how some colours would not be exactly replicated, and during the firing process could not be completely predictable.
A few days later I took Allie to the Forge to meet Siobhan. It was a joy to watch these two talented artists discuss the translation of the computer generated logo into glass and the challenges with text, of firing glass, creating a rainbow effect, and overlapping ribbons.
On 30 May, I received an email from Siobhan which said “It’s ready! Fresh out of the kiln this morning and still warm. Come and have a look: it’s bright, it’s funky, it gorgeous.”
The Window was installed on 11 July 2017. A plaque underneath reads:
Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week
building understanding and sharing hope
Supported by West Sussex County Council
The official unveiling by Worthing’s Mayor, Cllr Alex Harman, took place on 18th Aug 2017. It was a joyous occasion on a blustery day.
Members of Offington Park Methodist Church gathered at the Window on 9th Sept to pray for those who have been bereaved by suicide. (World Suicide Prevention Day is 10th Sept)
The ‘Windows on the Pier’ is the initiative of Paul Holden, Editor of the Worthing Journal.