Meeting in the Middle: Mosaics

Meeting in the Middle: Mosaics

Shelly Hamill

October 4 - 26, 2013

To me, mosaics are a metaphor for life. Each small piece represents an experience, a moment, a turning point- coming together to create the whole. As each piece is placed; as each moment is experienced, the mosaic and the mosaic of life come together.

I like to think about how women get together in quilting circles. Each person has a story to share with the others. Each person has a small piece of fabric, experience and talent to add to the quilt. They come together to make the whole quilt and they influence each other along the way. When you place a tile on a mosaic, it informs what the next piece will be, what shape it will be and how it is placed. They are related.

I like to surround myself with the materials; the china, the tile, the beads and to play with different combinations. The colors, textures and shapes influence each other in the same way as in the quilting circle. I draw inspiration from traditional fashion houses and evening gown designs, and then I work to recreate those designs attempting to harness and convey femininity out of non-traditional materials.

I enjoy the hunting and gathering aspect of obtaining my materials. I cannot simply order paint supplies from an art supply store. My artwork requires me to spend time at flea markets, estate sales and antique stores- I love these places. They are vestibules of history. I take these items of history bringing together old plates or perhaps old chandelier parts, tile and beads to create something completely new and different and use them in unsuspecting ways.

As I create, each sculpture to me represents the coming together of all those experiences, all that history, all that knowledge- coming together to make something accessible, beautiful and meaningful. -- Shelly Hamill