Last week I had an exhibition of mosaic art at Bath Artists Studio Gallery with Brazilian artist Marcelo de Melo.
I spent 6 days in the gallery studying the reactions of visitors and talking to them about the work.
I exhibited some older pieces such as Spirit of the Leaves and How the Sun Wakes to show my journey leading up to my newest pieces. The latest works tell stories of the apocalypse through the usual subject of bird and sun. I hoped that visitors would see my work as beautiful but haunting, stirring emotions and getting into the soul like a good piece of music might.
The feedback was really good, and it was this that finally helped me to see how my work should progress. Before I felt as if I had come to a full stop, because I have completed several years of successive ideas from my sketchbooks.
It was an interesting experiment having Marcelo’s “Corpo Musivo” works displayed side by side with mine.
In stark contrast Marcelo’s new pieces are crude, grotesque and creepy whilst at the same time strangely alluring and demanding further investigation. Like his first Corpo Musivo he has defaced the tile with latex and pubic hair and this time added plastic zip ties and tubing to make his peculiar strange shaped “mosaic bodies” that look a bit like diseased organs. Marcelo has had a love /hate relationship with what he believes is no longer “Contemporary” mosaic art and what he says about his first Corpo Musivo is also relevant to the two corpo’s in the show: “This shapeless form is meant to shock, by desecrating techniques and materials precious to mosaic art.”
His disillusion with the art form is blatant and screams out in anger and frustration, but it is these feelings that fuel a passion to express it.
But however far apart our art may seem there was one common element that we appeared to share; a primal energy that whispers and echoes throughout my work and that comes through kicking and screaming in Marcelo’s work.
Here is a video of the exhibition