Cedar Prest

Text and pictures taken from the St. Peter's Cathedral Adelaide booklet "Inspired Windows"

Cedar Prest, a pioneer of the Architectural Glass Movement in Australia, has devoted herself for the past 30 years to the development of a distinctively Australian glass style.

She began her training in the art of ecclesiastical glass under the post-Coventry masters, Patrick Reyntiens and Lawrence Lee, in England in the mid sixties. In 1973, assisted by an Australia Council grant, Prest went on to study with the leaders of the modern movement in Germany.

Prest has consistently challenged the limitations of flat glass, developing techniques whereby light is concentrated in blown, fused, moulded or rolled glasses, so that line and image are achieved through the varied interplay of light and glass as well as through the varying thickness of lead. Her designs manipulate the light in a particular setting to provide an atmosphere appropriate to the use of the building and to utilise its dramatic potential.

Each of Prest’s projects is "a celebration of being Australian where we are". The inspiration for her designs comes largely from the land and its plants, and each project evolves over a period of intensive interaction with the local landscape and community, during which an authentic sense of place and purpose is developed.

In 1987 Cedar Prest was awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to stained glass; she was elected to the British Society of Master Glass Painters in 1968 and is a Foundation Member of the Crafts Council of South Australia; she was Chair of the Crafts Board of the Australia Council from 1980 to 1983 and has directed eight community projects in glass in regional areas. Her most recent commissions include Sydney International Airport Foyer (1992), Daw Park Repatriation Hospital Chapel, Adelaide (1990-1992) and St. Luke’s Mosman Park, Perth (1991).

Windows from St. Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide

In 1991, Cedar Prest was commissioned to create a new set of clerestory windows for St. Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide. Three beautiful examples have been taken from the ten clerestory windows:

The Promised Land.

The cultural history of the land is celebrated in the telling of stories.

The Physical Journey.

The new settlers' journey towards the promise of industrial and agricultural prosperity even as Moses journeyed towards the promised land.

The Spiritual Journey.

The spiritual journey has as its goal a new universality of God.


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