As part of the Abirdabode Exhibition, myself and Richard Dawson couldn’t resist creating some of our own art bird boxes. We got so carried away we couldn’t fit them all into the Gallery as part of the main exhibition so came up with a sneaky plan to install them into the library downstairs.
Having got the go ahead from Oldham Library, who were brilliant and completely open to our weird requests, we spent an afternoon installing the boxes on the shelves in the main library. The ten boxes have now formed an art bird box trail amongst the books and the only clues to find them consist of Dewey Decimal numbers and subject headings.
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.
Last week myself and Richard Dawson spent a day at Dove Stone Reservoir installing the new RSPB Wayfinders. Made from solid oak, with CNC’d lettering and mosaic detail, the posts have been carefully designed and created to be sympathetic to the space at the same time as being useful! The mosaics all show flora and fauna found at Dove Stone and aim to inform visitors about local wildlife.
We had beautiful weather after a very wet Friday (nice soft ground) which made for a relatively easy installation, apart from the stones and the inaccessibility of some wayfinder sites by vehicle. Thanks to Sam and Joe who came and did some excellent hole digging and lumping of heavy things! And thanks to the lovely dog walker who supplied us with some wine gums in Binn Green car park.
Myself and Richard Dawson have been commissioned by the RSPB to create some way markers for Dovestone Reservoir in the Peak District. Each way marker will contain a small circular mosaic that depicts flora and fauna found in the area. I’m currently working on the drawings for the artwork but in the meantime here’s a mosaic of the RSPB logo which I did just to get me in the mood!