Reflective post number 10

MOSAICS: PIECES OF A PUZZLE

23rd November 2016:  A BIT OF A BREAKTHOUGH: PIECES START TO FALL INTO PLACE

I’ve been reading A LOT about Art, Craft and Mosaics.  I have been reading Mosaic blogs as already mentioned, and publications such as Andamento  (published by BAMM), Mosaic Art Now and MosaÏque.   Until this week I felt that although interesting, I didn’t feel that it was terribly relevant to my work.  A chance conversation with my tutor about something I had seen in an exhibition catalogue  has changed all that.

Then I started reading about Boody Ware.  Oh yes.  This is the use of broken crockery to make a pattern on another surface.  It predates the Arts and Crafts movement by at least fifty years and was popular among the working class in the North East of England.  I would like to go so far as to say that it probably dates back earlier than this, as I know from experience that people don’t like to throw things away!

Boody ware (photograph by Marcus Leith and Andrew Dunkley)

This example was included in the Tate Britain exhibition of British Folk Art in 2014.

website-study-in-brown-2
Study in Brown, Alex McHallam, 2013.

This is one of my pieces, from 2013, made with found objects from the Thames, a mixture of crockery, some of it as early as 1680, with clay pipes, also from the river, and a selection of contemporary glass and unglazed ceramic tiles.

Further research has led me to look again at the work of Cleo Mussi.  She is a contemporary British Mosaic artist with a distinctive, figurative style of mosaic which she makes exclusively with found ceramic.  Her exhibition earlier this year was called Cleo Mussi: Boody Ware.  It feels that a piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

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