Gary Drostle - art for landscape & architecture
TEL: +44 (0)771 952 9520 – EMAIL: email@example.com
all images ©Gary Drostle unless marked otherwise
The first step in commissioning a site specific artwork is drawing up a brief. This is sometimes done before the artist is contacted but can be done afterwards and is often modified after the artist has visited the site or had a chance to consider the project details.
The brief can be a simple paragraph or a many paged document combining a contract and method statement, depending on the scope and needs of the project.
The brief outlines exactly what you can expect from the commission and is particularly important in setting out the design parameters, themes and approaches. Gary can help with the drafting of a suitable brief which usually also includes the target project budget and can also cover: timetable; type of artwork; level of client or community input and various other factors.
As part of the brief or immediately following it Gary can draw up some rough sketch ideas as an initial response to the site and the brief. These make ideal discussion points so that you can clarify what you want from the work and everyone involved can contribute and be aware of the plans.
This early design discussion can also involve other groups who you feel should be involved in the creation of the work. Developing designs in collaboration with other stakeholders around the site can greatly increase the impact and acceptance of the final artwork. Gary has worked with a wide variety of community and interest groups in realising projects including: schools; youth groups; other artists; tenant groups; staff; patients; elderly groups; libraries; drop in events; gallery events; festivals and many more.
Gary will often work on a number of drawings to refine and modify the artwork. Once you are happy with the direction of the proposed work Gary will then draw up the final scale design and associated plans if required.
This final design forms the agreement for the production of the work.
Preparations at the site for the receipt of the artwork fall into two categories: client preparations and artist preparations.
The client is usually responsible for providing a site that is ready for the receipt of the artwork, this would include:-
• Provision of a suitable floor foundation or wall render for the work
• Clearance of the working space around the area
• Arrangement for access to water and facilities
Gary will always liase closely on this provision, including providing specifications and standards, and liaising with contractors and site managers to ensure the smooth flowing of the commission.
As well as the client liaison role, the artist's preparations include the inspection of the site and any final touches required before work begins. Depending on the scale of the works this role can also include the provision of access equipment and suitable safety measures including signage and public safety. Gary also provides full risk assessment for the works carried out on site.
The first step in the fabrication of a mosaic is the cartoon. This is a drawing of the agreed design on paper at the full scale of the finished artwork and in lateral inversion (mirror image). This drawing also carries important reference markings for the construction of the mosaic and its re-assembly on site when completed.
The cartoon is destroyed in the process of making the mosaic.
Once the cartoon is complete making your mosaic can begin.
The mosaic tesserae are cut by hand and stuck, face down, onto the paper cartoon one by one carefully following the design. The same design can be constructed in a number of different styles, from Classical to the most modern style. The making style, traditionally called the Andamento, can be likened to the brush strokes in a painting.
Your mosaic can be constructed using a range of materials selected for their permanence, colour palette, durability, slip resistance, texture or reflectivity depending on the requirements of your site. These materials include the finest mosaic tesserae in the world:–
• Italian Glass Smalti – Rich hand made coloured glass enamels with texture and luminosity fit for a Byzantine Cathedral and equally brilliant in the most contemporary mosaic designs.
• Marbles – All natural stone mosaic with a subtle colour palette and natural variation these tesserae can also be used to create dramatic texture and light catching surfaces.
• French Unglazed Ceramic (porcelain) – The super tough mosaic ideal for floors, slip resistant, frost resistant and available in a beautiful harmonious palette which compliments modern building materials such as concrete, brick, natural and man made claddings.
As sections of the mosaic are made they are cut away and stored. Once the whole mosaic has been completed the pieces are laid out and checked, they are then packed for transportation to the site.
Because Gary and his team of mosaic makers also install your work you can be sure that the same attention to detail is carried through from the making to the installation.
The installation phase is really the coming together of one of the most ancient arts, in the creation of the mosaic, with modern technology, with the use of the advanced construction adhesives which have vastly improved the performance and reliability of mosaic installations.
The completion of a public mosaic can often be the focus of a community celebration.
Unusually in this project carried out for Cheshire West and Chester District Council, the completed mosaic sculpture received a full Roman blessing from the priest of Minerva in Latin with a Roman honour guard.
Other project celebrations have included music, press events, street performances and even associated publications.