It’s taken me a long time to become a mosaic artist. I first worked in education, directing a Centre for Adult Education in Auckland but in 1983 took an 8 month sabbatical in the US to pursue a long held desire to “do art”. My style was pen and ink, of people and places, in a pointillism art form. Since then, I have spent 20 years of self-employment in graphic art. But “doing art” remained a full-time desire. And in 2001, I started this mosaic artform part-time with the development of art pieces. They have ranged from eight metres in length and 2500 mm deep to 500 mm x 350 mm depending on client requirements and this body of work now gives me a platform from which to launch new pieces, develop my mosaic art skills and earn a living. The full time plunge began in January 2003.
Why mosaic art and why New Zealand flora?… and now history? I like the “bigness” of the mosaic format; it is an ancient artform that has stood the test of time. Some of the world’s significant art sites feature mosaic art. They astonish and uplift people; they encourage a sense of history creating a link between one age and another. I have decided to treat iconic New Zealand themes in the mosaic form to capture the beauty of our country to give us a greater sense of place; and native flora has become central to this endeavour. More recently I have been working on historical themes, largely because of the history that permeates Waikino, Waihi and the Karangahake Gorge where I now live. My methods are mixed medium mosaic form. A style that has emerged recently into a bas relief form so what is often called a 3d approach, lifts out a human face or object to stress its importance to the theme of the art. I use stone, glass, tile, merge ceramics into themes, always with a permanency factor involved for outside use, avoiding anything such as MDF board that ‘blows’ and destroys tesserae. However every piece of art requires specific requirements and these have to be discovered in the process of ‘doing the job’.