I love to escape into an imaginary world that I have conjured up and brought to life. I love making intricate interactions with the characters created in my fantasy world and watch them play out through my Art. In their world I can explore my subtle humour. I was initially inspired to create the street scenes after completing a specially commissioned mosaic for the Vatican in Rome. The use of shades in both colour and black and white allowed me to bring real depth and added perspective to each piece. Venetian glass (Smalti) has an extensive array of uneven textures, which give the glass amazing light reflections.
The idea of photographing the mixed media collage works because it allows me to gently merge each element together as a whole, resulting in a more emotive and vibrant outcome. The use of mixed media collage in my Art also allows me to be clearer in what I want to achieve and to better convey the story I am sharing. I am able to express the personalities of the illustrated characters in a more vibrant way than if they were created purely from 2D glass.
I am asked why I don’t simply Photoshop the illustrations onto the final photographed mosaic background. I prefer to retain a more traditional approach where I cut out each individual illustration from card. When they are attached to the mosaic, they deliver their own authentic shadows onto the glass, can offer more charm and can give an organic feel to the work.
Each commissioned mosaic is a new and exciting challenge. I love to open my mind to alternative creative possibilities. Since each brief is so different from the last, I find myself compelled to experiment with different ways of working, exploring unusual techniques and using materials that I wouldn’t normally use with Venetian glass such as wood and textiles. I usually find a way to make it work and if it doesn’t, it all gets scraped off and I start from scratch.
A lot of initial planning and research goes into each project. However, I often find myself making on going adaptations, being flexible and discovering new creative openings as I work. Sticking to a structured route has never been my strong point. My work takes me on a fascinating, soul inspiring journey. That’s why I love what I do so much. It allows me to get lost in my creative zone. Painting on canvas showed me the limitations of 2D work and launched me into the amazing world of 3D mosaic.