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Mosaic Sculptures – bringing colour, form and identity to the built environment

When looking for a feature artwork a mosaic sculpture offers a very contemporary and rich focal point. They can bring colour, story, texture and a unique form to an area. This vibrancy and sense of identity is epitomised by Antoni Gaudi’s works in Barcelona which has given the entire city a contemporary identity.

Bringing out the essence of of your site

Like all of Gary Drostle’s site specific works a typical project will start with a combination of research and local consultation.

For Gary, mosaic sculpture offers a unique and exciting way to realise an artwork. This is because he can bring together form, colour, texture, pattern and identity. Gary’s sculptural mosaics are joyous landmarks that draw out hidden histories and identities which can alter our perception of where we are and celebrate our communities.

The Enduring Tangerine Tree by artist Gary Drostle
The Enduring Tangerine Tree‘ – Mosaic clad column that includes photo mosaic collage of local community photographs and local history archives.

Local research can involve looking at and researching the history of the local area, it’s geology and topography, political and social history, the surrounding architecture and landscape and the native flora and fauna. All or any of these areas can inform the project.

Gary is particularly interested in bringing ‘hidden histories’ to the for…

“Every site I work on usually reveals an amazing story linked to the site that most people would be completely unaware of. Revealing these hidden stories is fascinating and I think brings out a deeper understanding and relationship with the place”

Gary Drostle

The consultation element of an initial project can also include a wide range of approaches. These can include: design workshops with local residents and schools; reminiscence projects with elderly residents; community consultations; design options; exhibitions and events.

Realising the design

Sketch of entwined histories
Design for the ‘Entwined Histories‘ mosaic sculpture in Bow, east London.

All of this initial research, information and imagery will feed into the design.

Gary’s final design will show the scale and look of the sculpture as well as the structure and it’s fixing details.

Most of Gary’s sculptures are formed along the following lines:–

  • A stainless steel armature that both gives vertical strength and rigidity to the structure and allows easy transportation and site fixing of the work.
  • A styrofoam form that gives shape and thermal resilience and reduces weight.
  • A Glass Reinforced Cement GRC skin that gives structural strength and durability
  • A mosaic surface cladding providing enhanced durability, colour and beauty.

Building your sculpture

Once you are completely happy with the design, work can start on building your mosaic sculpture. This can usually take place off site with only the foundation works carried out initially.

The creative work does not end once the design has been approved. Making the mosaic surface includes a vital and highly skilled creative process. Each design is interpreted using the mosaic artists skill and experience. This process enhances the design still further and brings added depth and vitality to the artwork.

Applying mosaic to the prepared form
Applying mosaic to the prepared structure – ‘Entwined Histories

Sculptural works are usually built in one of two ways:-

  • The sculptural form is caste direct on site and the mosaic made off-site. When the mosaic is complete it is brought to the site and installed on the sculpture.
  • The sculpture is built in the workshop and clad in mosaic directly. The completed work is then transported to the site and fixed to a preformed foundation.

Once the sculpture and mosaic setting is completed your sculpture is ready to be installed. Clients are welcome to view the mosaic underway and completed in the studio before the installation begins.

Installing your sculpture on site

De Luci Sculpture Installation

Drostle Public Arts pride ourselves in our installation service knowing that the same attention to detail will go into your installation as went into the making of your mosaic sculpture.

Depending on the scale and type of installation we can call on our regular installation partners for heavy duty back-up including lifting services, steel engineering or inset casting.

Imagination and sensitivity

Gary’s approach to creating a new sculptural mosaic is to really absorb the uniqueness of each site.

Contact Gary today to begin a conversation about how we can transform your site and create a new landmark for you.

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Posted: February 8, 2020

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mosaic stories