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Window 1: The Void

The first window in the Creation and the New Creation series of windows at the church of

Saints Leonard and Fergus, Dundee.

The first window of the entire series of 24 windows portrays The Void at the beginning of Creation (see Genesis 1.1-2) and as such, is the first window of The Days of Creation theme running throughout the series. It also represents the first of the Winter windows in which the colour blue predominates.


It is a simple window, atmospheric and empty of detail, giving a sense of the nothingness, or formlessness, before creation. This emptiness is accentuated by the window being the only one in the series that does not have a Celtic-style latticed background pattern. The Void is not only the nothingness before the creation of the world, but the emptiness and greyness of a life without Christ.


The window is predominantly made up of cool dark greys and blues and, on the left-hand side, grey mauves. These mauves also feature in the last window of the series, Window 24: The Light, in which there’s a representation of the Milky Way solar system, linking the first and last windows across the main entrance of the church.

The transom of Window 1: The Void in the church of Saints Leonard and Fergus, Dundee, Scotland. Designed and made by AJ Naylor.

The transom of Window 1, with the 'chaotic skier'. 

There are only two small details in this window. The first is an affectionate joke in the transom (a transom is a window above another window or door). As mentioned in the Introduction to these windows, Dad collaborated with Clive Sinclair on this project and Clive preferred to think of this window as The Chaos window, based on the Prelude to Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation, called ‘the Representation of Chaos’. Clive happened to enjoy skiing and his form was, by all accounts, rather untidy and chaotic, and so Dad painted a little cartoon of him as a chaotic skier in the transom. Clive did not immediately recognise himself in the chaotic skier, but a lad who was working with them at the time spotted him straight away!

The second detail is the words ‘Quaere Verum’, Latin for ‘Seek the Truth,’ positioned in the middle of the window. This detail was added to the window after it had been made at the request of the parish priest, Fr McInally, as a little nod to his former career as a Chartered Accountant before his ordination. Apart from being a general philosophical imperative,

'Quaere Verum' is the motto of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. The words were acid-etched rather than painted because Dad didn’t want to introduce any paint to the main window, in keeping with the idea of emptiness and formlessness.

The Void at the beginning of Creation. Window 1: The Void in the church of Saints Leonard and Fergus, Dundee, Scotland. Designed and made by AJ Naylor.

Out of the primordial nothingness or chaos arises Truth itself or the exhortation to seek the Truth, which lasts throughout all time. In contemplating this further, I remembered that the word ‘truth’ in Hebrew, the

Window 1: The Void.

language of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is ‘emet’ (אמת). In rabbinic literature ‘emet’ is thought of as ‘the seal of God’ because it begins and ends with the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This can be compared to Jesus Christ’s testimony in Revelation 22.13, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’. The New Testament was originally written in Greek and the letters Alpha (α) and Omega (ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Together they designate the comprehensiveness of God who contains all that is, was and ever shall be.


Appropriately, just as there are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet, there are 24 windows in this series. If each window is given a letter of the Greek alphabet, this first window would be Alpha, the first letter. The last window, Window 24: The Light with the Milky Way in the transom, would be Omega, the last letter. This gives an overall sense of completion, the beginning and end of Creation in the eyes of God.


Into the cool grey and blue tones of the Void enter a range of tinted whites, representing light, which link this window to the next window in the series, Window 2: The Resurrection.

Close up of the acid-etched 'Quaere Verum' (Seek the Truth) detail in Window 1: The Void, in the church of Saints Leonard and Fergus. Designed and made by AJ Naylor.

Close up of the acid-etched 'Quaere Verum' (Seek the Truth) detail in the main window. This photo was taken on a dark evening when the words look sparkling and dramatic. During the daytime, the effect is not so pronounced.

Close up Clive 2.jpg
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