Keith Fagg OAM
The enduring love story and dedicated Christian service of Bert and Ruth Fagg has inspired a vibrant new artwork adorning Wesley Church in Geelong.
Commissioned by the Fagg family, the work is part of a bequest from Bert Fagg, who died in 2015, in memory of his beloved wife of 70 years, Ruth who passed away in 2016.
Their family considered the artwork to be fitting legacy in memory of both parents for their long, faithful and active service to Wesley. The artwork was unveiled and dedicated on 27 May.
The piece was created by local artist Jill Shalless and glassmaker David Hobday.
“Given Ruth and Bert’s love of the outdoors and gardening, this design has emerged as a contemporary landscape,” Ms Shalless said.
“Across the colours, light, texture and movement in the glass, there are quiet places, delicate shifts in hue creating glances of sunrise and sunset imbuing their nurturing, gentle spirit.
“Joyful bursts of vibrant colour dance over the surfaces, bringing to mind their optimistic, energetic, radiant spirit.”
Bert was a member of Wesley Church since his birth in 1917 and Ruth a member since their marriage in 1945.
Both were active in many areas of church life. They both loved their church and were faithful witnesses in numerous and diverse ways.
Bert was very active in the Tennis Club, Men’s Club, Property and Planned Giving Committee, and as a church steward for decades.
He applied his many practical woodworking and engineering skills to many tasks and projects around the church complex. Bert was the quintessential ‘quiet achiever’.
Ruth was a Sunday school and bible class teacher and for many years led the Pastoral Care Committee.
She was a foundation and lifelong member of the Women’s Evening Fellowship.
With her lovely soprano voice, she sang in the choir for seventy years and often performed solos.
Ruth also initiated the “Over 50s Fitness Class” which has been running for over 30 years.
Every Sunday morning Ruth would stand just inside the front door warmly welcoming people to worship.
She saw hospitality as one way she could live out her faith and welcomed people right until she was physically unable to do so.
The artwork is located very near to where she would stand.
Mr Hobday said to create “Jill’s beautiful design” each tile in the artwork was painstakingly made of two layers of glass – a white background layer to reflect light and a clear coloured top layer.
“Each tile went into the kiln at least three times with the tree taking five firings before it was right,” he said.
“An aluminium bracket is glued to the back of each tile that fits into a similar cleat of the wall frame, so that supported by an invisible frame it appears to ‘float’ off the wall.”
Wesley Church welcomes you to view this colourful and impressive artwork.