"Spirit of Marc Chagall"

Mosaic Exhibition 2009

Karen Gill

My Street
Karen Gill

Artist Statement

“I knew very little about Chagall and his work before this project. I was initially fascinated by Chagall's depictions of Russian village life and how he represented aspects of this life with great simplicity but deep emotion. I was also particularly drawn to the way he drew couples and the tenderness he manages to capture. My first idea was to do a small mosaic of aspects of MY street and life - to see how much I could condense into a small piece, slightly bigger than a postcard.
In this small piece I included a couple representing my husband Chris and I and 4 peas in a pod, our 4 boys. I decided to do a bigger piece of a couple. I knew I wanted to do it in blue, not just because I love the use Chagall makes of blue, but because it's a very healing colour and I somehow wanted to portray the healing, nurturing, protective, tender, enveloping quality of love that I saw in many of Chagall's couples - especially the marriages.
Practically, one of my sons moved into a new flat and found many (but only 2 different) small blue tiles in his shed. I thought it would be a challenge to just use 2 tiles (look what you can get from X and Y chromosomes..with a few beads and bits of blue mirror thrown in). Another friend gave my some metal faces that had been on a pair of sandals. These were my starting point.
I didn't do any drawings for this piece. I just started with the faces and it somehow developed. I planned for a couple, a wedding couple. I don't know how it turned out quite so Victorian-looking. It's a healing dance and embrace. It started off with the working title "TANGLED UP IN BLUE". I've been ill while working on this piece and it's become a very personal and important piece to me, made for Chris.

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