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Stained glass has a rich history both in terms of artistic creation and craftsmanship, but Vancouver [British Columbia, Canada] artists Stuart James Ward and Ben Z. Cooper have added a digital twist by combining looping animations underneath wooden geometric patterns in a beautiful homage to the art form.

The series of three wall-mounted art pieces is called Divine Lights. Each of the three designs has unique animations that play on an LCD screen set behind a laser-cut wood panel and programmed to accent the geometric designs. The animations range from subtly shifting colors to kaleidoscopic views of the different seasons to starry night skies.

Each piece measures around 22”×32”×4”

Each piece measures around 22”×32”×4”. From left to right: “Cubic Tessellations,” “Asanoha,” and “Rosette”

The “stained glass” art pieces use commercial LCD screens (the same type you’d see used at airports to display departure times), and Cooper and Ward used the full suite of Adobe programs to create the animations. “I’ve always loved breaking up frames and playing around with multiple images on in one canvas,” Cooper said.

The beginnings of the prototyping process will be familiar to many Makers. Early iterations used a Raspberry Pi to store and seamlessly loop the various video files, while the wood panels were made on a laser cutter at local hackerspace: Vancouver Hack Space.

stained glass picture

“Asanoha” was inspired by Ward’s time living in Japan and the ways he saw traditional culture freely adapted into contemporary designs.

Nature plays a large role in the themes of each piece. The first piece, “Cubic Tessellations,” focuses on the seasons around Vancouver, while “Asanoha” focuses on traditional Japanese patterns and colors based around the hemp plant (“Asa” in Japanese), and “Rosette” shows swirling video of water and sky underneath the spiral pattern which is reminiscent of flower petals or succulents. Cooper had this to say about the designs:

“Living and working in Vancouver, we’re surrounded by nature; it’s hard not to be inspired by it. We love the combination of natural and technological. The ideas for these came from a life of curiosity, travel and reflection.”

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Each time Cooper and Ward sell one of the limited edition pieces, they plan to release a new piece of video content to all the owners of that design. The more pieces they sell, the more animations the owners can enjoy.

The team is still developing new animations and playing around with what works and what doesn’t. They’re also experimenting with larger scale pieces and custom installations. For more information, visit Divinelights.

Divine Lights from Hfour on Vimeo.

Divine Lights : Rosette : Galaxy Grandeur from Hfour on Vimeo.

Divine Lights: Asanoha : Traditional Pigments from Hfour on Vimeo.

Divine Lights : Cubic Tessellations : Autumn Frost from Hfour on Vimeo.