My journey to Mosaics
Art has been my passion since childhood. During my formative years drawing and painting was just a 'subject' and the emphasis was on Science.
I loved drawing and painting and acquired the different techniques of shading, tones, and textures by reading books. I bought books on painting water colours and drawing. I read through them and had a go. I particularly loved painting seascapes. During my visits to family and friends I would carry a small Windsor and Newton paint set of water colours and a water colour pad and would quickly do a painting with a thank you note in it. I felt a sense of gratification within myself.
I made painted cards for all occasions such as birthdays, valentine day, Christmas cards and the driving force behind this was my precious late mother. My mother knew of my desire to excel in Art and she encouraged me a lot.
I bought books on Art Movements and read about the styles such as Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance Baroque and so on. The more I read the more the feeling of euphoria existed within me. I was relaxed and felt calm and energised. I could spend hours in my art studio yet keep up with my professional job.
Moving on from the medium of water colours to silk painting. The delight I experienced in doing silk paintings was as being in the state of nirvana as I got immense joy seeing the silk paints moving and being absorbed into the medium. My journey with Art was never ending.
Whether I delved in water colours or silk painting or acrylics I felt in a state of ecstasy.
I enjoyed the works of various Artistes such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pier Mondrian, Henri Matisse Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and many more.
Any where I travelled to, I had to look out for Arts and Craft. On a trip to the USA, I attended a workshop on Stain Glass which I enjoyed very much. The product filled me with so much pleasure.
In Kenya where I lived for 15 years, I enjoyed all the local arts and went to various places to see what other artists were doing. Fascinated by their talent and their exhibits gave me a boost to continue with what I was doing.
My passion deepened even more. I bought a book on Paper Collage and made a paper collage art image of a flower vase, which I have framed and displayed on my wall. It's on the wall opposite my ironing board and I look at it whilst ironing and regress back to the time when I was cutting and sticking. it's an artwork I really enjoyed.
When I returned to England most weekends were spent on learning by joining various workshops in Art and Craft. I would travel miles even if I had to, to fulfil my passion.
Working as an educationalist I had rekindled an interest in ancient history and as I was watching a documentary on art work in Mesopotamia uncovering the mosaics, I knew instantly that is what I wanted to do as I felt an intense desire within me'. I attended one workshop on mosaics and since then I have been on the go with creating pieces of mosaic. I have stayed with Mosaics after stumbling into it. Having been on a steady diet of art and craft, it just felt right. It satisfies my need to create things, to break them apart and then put them back together again. I love how it's so hands-on and physical. It's quite hard to articulate why I stuck with mosaics, why it grabbed hold of me. It just clicked. Mosaics take a long time to build, but I discovered how much I loved the tactile nature of materials and glow of glass and ceramics. I suppose it's just a kind of natural progress from collage to mosaics, but I do still play around with other art forms as it keeps ideas fresh.
Mosaics for me is a form of therapy. In a tough world it centers and grounds me and I absolutely love it. The medium of mosaics just resonates with me, the balance between head time and technical skills keeps me engaged in a process that, while ancient never gets old. Mosaics are concrete, you can touch, smell, and hear the different materials.
Just like the Sufi dancer goes into a sublime state of trance to inwardly seek divinity, working with mosaics is involving experience of mystic self-transcendence that has enabled me to passionately create poetry through my art form.
By Nunny Suri
Photos by Nunny Suri
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