Art Nouveau

International Mosaic Exhibition 2010


Hare 1 Hare 2

Carolyn King

‘Taking a line and extending it right out of the factory door!’

To do with it what you may; to lead it or let it lead you into areas of fantastical imagination’ Art Nouveau really began with the rejecton of the new mass produced pieces of popular art for the ‘people’ that was fast spilling out of Englands industrial revolution. It became for a while a counter revolution, which swept across Europe and America and has left us an amazing legacy.

In England, William Morris, painter, designer and artist maker and the art critic Ruskin set out to encourage artists to revel in the beauty of hand made and quality crafted work, work that echoed the purism of the Pre-Raphaelites whose work derived from that purist of all forms, Nature. Morris’ workshop was an eclectic mix of all the disciplines he felt necessary to stem the tide of cheap mass produced ‘artifacts’

The hares were chosen because they are wild, often in pairs, a trait of balance, harmony and equilibrium that was to continue through the movement until the arrival of early Art Deco’ But mostly for their beautiful lines, sleek and fast in the field, always on the watch, sunlight flashing of their glossy coats with features proud enough for the haughtiest and most revered of all images of that era, the Cat! Mirror glass again, to emphasise the transient nature of reality captured in craft without attempting to ape nature.

The discussion that the two disciplines of FINE ART and CRAFT have nothing in common has always puzzled me. That one is ‘superior’ to the other does not hold sway… and seems to be an invention of the latter half of the 20th C. The common origins of both are so evident during the birth of Art Nouveau that we would not be standing marvelling in the truthfulness of the canvases and drawings of Van Gogh if his inspiration had not come form the natural world around him. Conceptual art is to be found in all areas of creativity.

The hand that holds the brush and palette also holds the hammer and hardie!

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Halo of Light

Miranda Knight

The spirit of  artist Alphonse Mucha 1860-1939 inspired my mosaic Halo of Light. Mucha's art was fascinated by spirituality and mysticism, using nature to represent the spirit.

The mermaid, sensual and beautiful, a mythological symbol and a creature of the sea, is said to sing to people and the gods to enchant them. Sensuous colours enrich the sea waves and the overall theme; created by fine shards of stained glass to create movement and light. The halo of decoration pattern captures and holds the mermaid for us to be raptured by her fleeting beauty.

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Vive le Chat Noir

Rosie Laker

The concept of bringing Steinlen’s famous Chat Noir alive and into the 3 dimensional world greatly appealed to me.  The challenge of keeping the character with the focal point all centred on the eyes took a number of attempts to achieve. 

A first attempt at 3 dimensional mosaics – one which has literally been a real ‘eye opener.’


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