Welcome to 2017 and my first Blog of the year. I hope this year is HAPPY, HEALTHY, SUCCESSFUL and FUN for you all. Here are my pictorial highlights from 2016 – in no specific order. Let me know your favourite picture.
Tag Archives: Mosaic community project
When Maud from OPEN Ealing asked me if I would like to run a Mosaic Workshop for the local children during their half term art programme, I was delighted. I love working on community projects and I couldn’t resist the idea of introducing children to the wonderful art form of mosaic
OPEN Ealing is an arts centre that is the focus for creative excellence,inclusion and aspiration. Their aim is to introduce a refreshing cultural space and exciting arts programmes to the community by bringing artists, performers, art groups and residents together, promoting creativity and creating new opportunities.
The remit was that during the week children would carry out various art projects ‘Following in the Footsteps of’ a famous artist. To be honest, one of my favourite artists is Rembrandt who’s dark and m0ody self portraits do not lend themselves to a children’s bright mosaic project! No worries, I would decide on the mosaic first and then work in an artist.
It was agreed that rather than make individual pieces, we would make one large mosaic which we would donate to a local organisation. Maud identified O’Grady Court, a sheltered housing complex, who were delighted with our offer of a mosaic for their beautiful rooftop garden.
My biggest challenge was not knowing how many children would turn up, their ages and artistic ability. I didn’t want anything too simplistic that would not catch their imagination but I was also aware that if the piece was too large I would be doing a lot of mosaicing at home that night! Also, how do a group work on one piece while putting their personalised stamp on it. Eventually I took inspiration from the trees I made for the Log Cabin, lots of different sections with varied styles within the overall piece.
Luckily for me my nephew Steven, a maths teacher, was coming to stay for the weekend so as soon as he arrived he was given a cold beer and told to ‘design’ a tree made up of squares, rectangles and other mathematical shapes – all alien to a ‘creative’ like me!
On the day 10 children arrived and were immediately attracted to the beautiful glass tiles, shiny ceramic beads and glittery adornments. Working in pairs, they selected the sections they wanted to work on and then, armed with their handfuls of ‘coloured treasure’, started to design their section before placing and sticking them in the main piece. They were totally engrossed and were determined that the mosaic would be finished within the session, so all of them were working flat out. Each section is very individual – some of the children were incredibly neat, others were colour focused, many had an abstract slant. The end result is a fantastic ‘mix n match’ of different styles, all very distinctive but they all work in harmony as a whole.
I hope you will agree that our ‘Picasso Influenced Cubist Tree‘ is a great success.
Here is the butterfly I made as part of the Meadow House mosaic butterfly project.
Meadow House, based in Ealing, is a specialist palliative care service funded by the NHS. Meadow House work hard to ensure a welcoming and nurturing environment for patients and their visitors. It offers 3 levels of service: planned/review of care, symptom control and assessment and end of life care. There are 15 single rooms all with en suite facilities. There is a conservatory which is fully equipped to allow patient beds to be accommodated there if the patient would like to spend time out of their room.
My chum Anne and I have been going to a mosaic workshop with Kitty Hartnell along with several other people for a few years. We are all keen mosaic makers and the sessions with Kitty help us all improve our mosaic skills, encourage and inspire each other and have a good chat and catch up whilst working on our mosaics.
When Vicky Pearson (a volunteer at Meadow House) went to visit Anne, she saw the large mosaic butterfly that Anne had made. She commented that it would be lovely to have some butterflies as ‘room plaques’ for the 15 rooms at Meadow House. Anne discussed this with Kitty and the idea was born to get the group to make the mosaic butterflies as room plaques as a voluntary project.
Vicky and Nicky Cockayne (Ward Manager) were delighted with this idea and gave a list of all the butterflies (including some moths) to Kitty, who then set about cutting them out of plywood and drawing them up ready for us all to mosaic. It was agreed that we would make the 15 butterflies outside of our normal mosaic sessions so 16 of us met as and when we could on various dates over a 6 week period. Some people made a whole butterfly, others mixed and matched. They key aim was to get them all mosaiced, grouted, painted and ready to hand over to Meadow House before Christmas. It was a great team effort and we all enjoyed it very much.
On Wednesday 3rd December the butterflies were ready to fly away to Meadow House. Nicky and Vicky arrived at Kitty’s to be greeted by the several of the mosaic team, a celebratory glass of fizz and a table full of beautiful, vibrant mosaic butterflies.
Nicky said the butterflies exceeded all her expectations and she was delighted with the results, which will definitely make the rooms at Meadow House more homely for the patients and their visitors.
A big thank you must go to Anne and Vicky who had the ‘chrysalis’ of the idea. Also thanks to the mosaic gang who gave their time so generously – it was often quite challenging for a creative group who are used to doing their own thing, to have to make the butterflies authentic and symmetrical – which Kitty insisted upon! However, the biggest thanks goes to Kitty who so keenly agreed to the idea, provided all the materials, cut and drew the shapes and steered and encouraged us all making sure we used vibrant, colourful materials therefore enabling the project to ‘hatch’ into these 15 beautiful mosaics butterflies.
COMING SOON: a look back to the highlights of 2015.
I am always being asked ‘how did you get into mosaics – have you exhibited – where can I see your work?’ I recently put my mosaic CV up onto the BAMM website so thought it would be a goo idea to show it here as well.
COMING UP IN OCTOBER: ‘The Marple Collection’ – an exhibition of exciting new work at South Street Gallery
2015 – August: Invited to join the co-operative of artists at the new ‘South Street Gallery’ in Isleworth.
2015 – July: Harris + Hoole Coffee Shop invited me to display my work on a permanent basis.
2015 – June/July: Richmond Open Studios – exhibited at Harris + Hoole Coffee Shop, St. Margarets.
2015 – March: Got my work into ‘North East Art Collective’ Gallery’ in Northumberland.
2015 – March: 3rd year in ‘All Original’ shop.
2014 – October: Went to their AGM and joined BAMM.
2014 – August: Completed The Log Cabin community project.
2014 – June/July: Took part in ARThouse – Richmond Open Studios with photographer Peter Oliver and 4 other artists, based at The Beany Boo Cafe in Whitton.
2014 – March: 2nd year in ‘All Original’ shop.
2014 – January / February: Exhibited at Court Farm Gallery.
2013 – December: Made and raffled a large outdoor mosaic, raised £1,250 for The Log Cabin.
2013 – December: Art and Craft Sale at Pitshanger Methodist Hall.
2013 – March: Started selling my work in the new designer/maker shop ‘All Original’ in Ealing.
2012 – December: Art and Craft Sale at Pitshanger Methodist Hall.
2012 – October: Started selling my work in a designer/maker shop in Whitley Bay, Northumberland.
2012 – October: Demonstration evenings at Hobbycraft in Greenford.
2012 – August: Started on a voluntary community project, making several large outdoor mosaics for The Log Cabin children’s charity in West London. 90% materials were donated by small local businesses and individuals.
2012 – July: I was invited to demonstrate at the Traditional Crafts Weekend at The Wetlands Centre in Barnes
2011 – December: My friend Sally who introduced me to Osterley and makes beautiful textile work, suggested we organise an Art and Craft Sale locally at Pitshanger Methodist Hall, inviting local artists we knew to take part.
2011 – July/August: 2nd Exhibition at The Garden Gallery, Osterley House.
2011 – April: Exhibition at Runnymede Gallery, Old Windsor.
2010 – December: Christmas Craft Fair at Osterley House.
2010 – April / May: First exhibition at The Garden Gallery, Osterley House, a National Trust Property. My friend Sally sent me an application form and I filled it in! I loved the whole experience and was amazed at the amount I sold.
2009 – October: Got a few pieces of my work into local Ealing shops; Stems flower shop and Barbara Tobias dressmaking studio.
2009 – March: Julia had originally been taught mosaic by her friend Aimee Harman – an amazing mosaic artist who’s website had really inspired me after that first introduction. Julia and I did a weekend course with Aimee in her fantastic studio – a day of fused glass and then a day of mosaic, incorporating our glass pieces.
2008 – September: Following the Ros Waites course I did the odd mirror and pot but didn’t really have a mosaic focus. During a weekend trip to Bath I stumbled across the Mosaic Shop on Poultney Bridge and it was like stepping into an Aladins Cave! A riot of beautiful mosaics tiles in different materials and wonderful colours. They also had templates so I bought a ‘zebra design’ and that gave me my focus. This was the point where I got ‘hooked’ on mosaics, I was off!
2008 – April: My friend Anne had also got interested in mosaics and she suggested we did a course. Did a beginners weekend course with Ros Waites, where I was taught how to cut and place, learnt aout the different materials, techniques and basics of mosaic.
2007 – 29th July: Met Julia for the first time and she encouraged me to make my first mosaic, a small coaster.
COMING SOON: Rosanna’s Mosaics and Social Media
I have always done a lot of pro-bono work when I worked professionally and a lot of volunteering in my local community. It therefore seemed natural when I started doing something creative, to offer my skills in that area.
In June 2013 I met with Vivien Dymock and Sharon Flynn at the Log Cabin, a children’s charity in West London. After they saw examples of my work and then getting agreement from the Trustees, we agreed I would take on a voluntary project: to design and create a range of mosaics that would go in their sensory garden.
My aim was to make 8 large cut out mosaics and I thought this would probably be a 9 month project. The Ealing Gazette did an article launching the project and I asked for supplies to be donated: wood, mosaic tiles, adhesives and grouts. Small businesses and friends started to donate supplies and money and by August I had enough materials to start the project and make the first piece – a butterfly.
Working with the children on a weekly basis, we ended up making 11 mosaics including another butterfly, a dragonfly, bird, lizard sunshine face, glitter stepping stones as well as 2 seven foot high trees.!
This became a strong community project with different people involved including the children and young people, staff, local business and volunteers. With regular coverage from Ealing Gazette and Ealing Today, word of mouth and ‘friendly persuasion’ 95% of mosaic materials were donated by small business as well as monetary and time donations from friends.
In addition, a group of gardening friends – Nita, Gill and Krys – volunteered to design and create sensory garden beds. Soil and plants were purchased with a very generous discount. After a year of planning, digging and planting during rain, snow and drought, there are now 3 beautiful and vibrant sensory beds which enhance the playground area and the mosaics.
On August 6th we put up a plaque to mark the completion of the project: 2 years on – 11 mosaics, 3 sensory garden beds, £1250 from raffled mosaic, lots of hard work and help, plus loads of fun- later!
Thank you Log Cabin for letting me be involved in such a great project.