The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2018 > A Portrait of Place

A Portrait of Place


10 February - 13 May 2018

Partners in life and art, Stephen Gillies and Kate Jones have been making exceptional contemporary blown glass together for over 20 years. Their pieces are made the slow way, just as glass was prior to industrial revolution – labour intensive and reliant on the skills acquired over a long, international apprenticeship.

Operating from their studio and workshop in the village of Rosedale Abbey, they have developed a unique aesthetic, drawing inspiration from the elemental beauty of their rural surroundings.

They have received worldwide recognition for their complex cameo works, the traditional methods they use are practised by only a few glass makers across the world. This process involves the folding of different coloured glass bubbles over each other to produce a complex multi-layered and coloured piece.

Their defiantly decorative work can be found in both public and private collections locally, nationally and internationally. Alongside their craft practice, they also undertake prestigious commissions and regularly lecture in the UK and overseas.

This display will consist of four decorative or bowls whose colour and translucency reflect the changing seasons in Teesdale. The inspiration is Turner’s recent acquired watercolour of ‘Bowes Tower’

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.