A STAINED glass window - designed by David Hockney and created by a York stained glass artist - has been unveiled at Westminster Abbey.

The window, which is Hockney’s first work in stained glass and over eight metres high, is intended to celebrate the Queen’s reign and reflects her love for and connection with the countryside.

Hockney said today: ""I hope she'll like it."

The window has been made by Helen Whittaker, creative director at Barley Studio in Dunnington, using traditional techniques.

The Press reported last month how she had flown out to Los Angeles to stay at Hockney’s home and studio to discuss the details of his ground-breaking commission.

She said then he had been a 'real inspiration to me, through his versatility, his attitude to life and as a draughtsman and colourist.'

Hockney, 81, one of Britain’s most-loved artists and famous for his Yorkshire landscapes and paintings of Californian life, was asked to design something symbolic or representational in the window, rather than a figurative or heraldic design.

His design was created on his iPad and is set in Yorkshire and features hawthorn blossom, using his distinct colour palette of yellow, red, blue, pink, orange and greens.

He said today that designing his first stained glass window 'was a challenge' adding: 'I've learnt something about glass.

"I chose the hawthorn which is (for) four days (like) the moment when champagne looks as though it's been poured over all the bushes.

"It's a rather celebratory thing. It's the height of the spring and summer".

The artist said of Westminster Abbey: "I know this is a historic place and I know it's going to last."

Helen said of working with Hockney: "He's incredibly exciting because he takes risks. A lot of people have an idea of what a stained glass window looks like - religious wallpaper that doesn't engage."

She said he had chosen traditional materials but the 'image is very much the 21st Century. It draws you to it, these windows are no longer just in the background.'

Helen has previously created a stained glass window at All Saint’s Church in Pavement, York, paying tribute to thousands of York men and women who served in Afghanistan - including three killed in action - and was funded by the Press’ City of York Afghanistan Commemorative Appeal.

The new Queen's Window, which is in the Abbey’s north transept, will be dedicated formally by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, in the presence of the artist, family, friends and guests  at 11.30am on October 2.