I’ve been ridiculously busy for the past six weeks working on my mosaic commission for the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. The project started six months ago when I worked with lots of patients, staff, parents and visitors to create leaf shaped mosaics that would eventually become part of a larger piece for permanent display in the courtyard at the hospital.
After a fairly wet and chilly weekend, all the mosaics were installed on the walls and looking fantastic. We celebrated on Monday with an opening event which some of the original participants came to. We had great fun trying to find their individual mosaics from the hundred or so that were included in the final artwork.
Each ‘leaf’ shape within the mosaic artwork was made by a participant in the hospital workshops. Once I had gathered all the participants’ artwork, I spent a few days arranging and rearranging the mosaics to get all the colours and individual layouts to work. These were then transferred to larger templates and I mosaiced around the leaves to fill in the background colours. These were chosen to compliment the participants’ mosaics but also to bring some much needed greenery to the hospital courtyard.
I also kept the in-fill mosaics to a fairly simple design, with most mosaics cut in a Byzantine tile form (20mm x 10mm) and laid in a primarily Opus Classicum layout. Opus Classicum is a combination of Opus Tessellatum and Opus Vermiculatum whereby the tiles are primarily laid in a brickwork pattern with any ‘objects’ within the background surrounded by tiles following its form. This allowed the mosaic pieces to really highlight the participants’ work whilst creating a simpler background to also set them off.
Having completed two sets of workshops at the Royal Brompton Hospital in June, I trotted off to London this week to pick up the final completed mosaics and to present the final designs to rb&h Arts.
For the workshops, I spent two days working with patients, visitors, staff and passers-by to develop designs and ideas for the final artwork and then two days making mosaics, using a leaf shape as a basic template. During the workshops we made over 70 mosaic leaves which will all be incorporated into the final artwork.
I also created 50 mosaic ‘packs’ for people to take away and use or for people that couldn’t make it down to the workshops. These consisted of a bag of mosaics, a leaf template on brown paper, a pot of PVA, a glue brush and a set of mosaic instructions. The packs proved really popular and they were all used which was fantastic!
I’ve created a design based on the same leaf template but at a much larger scale. Each ‘leaf’ incorporates the mosaics created during the workshops and these leaves will be displayed around the courtyard. I’ve used every single one of the mosaics made which at the last count was 93 individual pieces.
Next job – reverse the mosaics made during the workshops as these were made using the double indirect method. I’ll use the indirect method to make the larger pieces.
I also delivered some of my leaf prints to the hospital as they are being used for a small exhibition in the foyer there alongside promoting the mosaic project.
Images © rb&hArts at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust