“Let There Be Light” follows Rowan LeCompte and Dieter Goldkuhle as they make their last window for Washington National Cathedral. One is an uncompromising artist, the other a meticulous craftsman/philosopher. These two grand-masters of stained glass labor to create a masterpiece in a race against time.
Washington Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedral in the world. Rowan made his first window for the cathedral at the age of 16. At 81 Rowan was commissioned to produce his last window for this building. Rowan was to design and paint the window and Dieter, his long-time collaborator, was to select and cut the glass and do the leading and installation.
Three years into the project, tension develops between the artist and the craftsman because the window is more than a year behind schedule. Another grand master of stained glass, Mary Clerkin Higgins is brought in to help finish the project. After four years of work a major conflict erupts between the artist and the cathedral administration and the window is rejected.
An intervention has an effect and the cathedral reconsiders and agrees to install part of the window. In August of 2011, an earthquake rocks the Washington DC and causes over 17 million dollars of damage to the cathedral. The installation of the window is placed on hold. Both tragedy and triumph lead to the film’s dramatic conclusion.
Told with stunningly beautiful images, this is a story of passion and creation - about the struggle to create great art using glass and light. It celebrates the power and beauty of light. Its aim is to inspire and ignite that inner creative light that is within all of us.
“Wonderful and exhilarating and countless other positive adjectives. Everyone I’ve talked to (or overheard) seemed to be mesmerized by your exquisite film.” - Susan Arritt, Publications Editor
“The film is quite magnificent. It so effectively makes the viewer feel the beauty of light and color. Many thanks for a terrific piece of work.” - Jane Figgis, Australian Elder Advocate