When I set this topic I knew that it would be more difficult than usual. I wasn’t surprised therefore to see that the number of entries were fewer than in previous competitions.
I have no regrets and make no apologies however - because as the word ‘challenge’ suggests - I want to keep ‘upping the ante’ in order to stretch CMA members.
My hope is that you may produce work that you may not otherwise have considered and to go down avenues that are off your usual chosen path.
I feel that whilst the QUANTITY of mosaics produced this time was down - the QUALITY certainly WASN’T and that the body of work that you see below contains some of the best mosaics that have ever been produced for these challenges.
I am therefore proud to announce the winners below and look forward with eager anticipation in the hope that more of you will rise to the NEXT challenge!
For this competition, I have asked Jane Denison to co-judge some of the works. Jane is currently studying art history at University of Queensland.
Martin Cheek October 2010
Size; 31x44 cm
Completed: August, 8, 2010
MC: This mosaic perfectly answers the brief. Dana’s work is always so romantic and poetic and this piece is no exception.
This is also SO clever and well constructed -the fact that the ENTIRE face is made up of the flowers and butterfly is inspired and worthy of the great showman Dali himself!
I know I keep saying this - but look how impossible it is to see BOTH at once - even when you have familiarised yourself with both identities.
This face has a beautiful luminosity and radiance to it. The lips / flower are so delicately handled and the nose / butterfly is skilfully understated.
JD: Although Martin observes the impossibility for us to see both images simultaneously, I love the ease with which we go from seeing the work as either a lady’s face or blooming spring flowers. This “easiness” results from the harmony within the colours that encourages our eyes to circulate around the image rather than settling on any particular part. Another factor attributing to the ease in reading both images is that if we follow the lady’s down-turned gaze towards the bottom right-hand flower, we automatically begin to see the entire image as a field of flowers.
The Lord's Army
materials used: Venetian Smalti, Gold and copper smalti, cut Moretti glass rods, coloured mirror glass, millefiore, and marble tesserae
Size: 32 X 45 cm. (13 X 18 inches)
Completion Date: July 2010
From my brother's photograph. Rebel soldier from 'The Lord's Army'. Camouflage within Camouflage. The delicate child bracelet in tender sensitive colors, juxtaposed on the dark arm, cradling metallic weaponry, surrounded by harsh jungle camouflage fatigues, may be the only expression or hint of this soldier's humanity.
MC: When I set this challenge, I thought it would be a lot of fun for those taking part and was expecting to see lots of wacky cartoony chameleons frolicking about catching unsuspected flies. I was forgetting though that camouflage can also be used in a more serious context - that of war. How appropriate then, that Mel should remind us of that fact with this powerful yet tender mosaic?!
JD: Sometimes an image speaks more than words. In this mosaic, a camouflaged soldier lies in forest foliage almost invisible to the world. The strong diagonal lines running through the work lead our eye to the work’s focal point - the colourful, yet poignant, child’s bracelet.
Initially, I thought this was an ambitious subject to tackle in the mosaic medium and I wondered how this mosaic differs from the original photograph. Undoubtedly, a photograph would objectively document the pathosof the scene. However, as a mosaic, the scene becomes incredibly intimate and we can almost smell the damp foliage in the forest. I also like how the different textures of the tesserae allude to the unresolved and disjointed nature of war. The result is a wonderfully executed work demonstrating the unique qualities mosaic art brings to the contemporary art scene.