Friday, January 25, 2013

Reflections on Autumn Glory - Pontefract Museum

A new, colourful exhibition has just opened at Pontefract Museum. 

'Reflections on Autumn Glory' exhibits the work of St Mary's Magnificent Mosaicers.  
New exhibition just opened at Pontefract Museum
The St Mary's Magnificent Mosaicers are  members of the public who are enrolled as Adult Learners on a weekly mosaic course run by the Workers Education Association (WEA), at St Mary's Community Centre in Chequerfield, Pontefract.  This course - Exploring the Art of Mosaic - is dedicated to modern mosaic as an art form, and has been active since 2009. 

The exhibition shows pieces created using a variety of materials ranging from tiles to stained glass, and from clay to jewellery, as well as buttons, beads, natural stone and many others, and also shows some of the tools used in creating the work.
Some of the pieces on display at the museum - even this chair seat is a mosaic!

What it means to the artists:

Caroline's mosaic in progress -Week 1

Around ten years ago I gave up full time employment because I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Consequently I became very low, however I had always been creative, having previously gained a degree in textiles, running art clubs in schools and attaining a MA in printmaking and was able to continue with this.

One day a neighbour gave me an old table, I had some leftover kitchen tiles, something clicked in my head or rather the hammer in my hand began to smash the tiles. I arranged them on the table top in a simple design, my first mosaic  Perhaps the act of destroying old material to create something new was therapeutic because I found I could not stop, moving on to my bathroom and outside into my tiny 
Caroline's mosaic in progress - Week 4

Later I saw a mosaic show in Pontefract Museum organised by a local mosaic  tutor, an altogether finer collection of mosaics made from cut glass and other materials such as pebbles and beads, it was very impressive. I was inspired to enroll in the  mosaic class at St Mary's Centre in Pontefract, this was three years ago, I'm now addicted to this artform. I love drawing, painting and pattern making, mosaics infuses all three. To finish, the positive social interaction gained from meeting like minded people each week is vital for my physical and mental well being.
Caroline Hutchinson

Caroline's mosaic in progress - Week 6

The finished piece 'Spiral' - now on display at Pontefract Museum

The day I was introduced by a friend to the mosaic class at St Mary's community centre, Chequerfield, was a day that I will be forever grateful to her.  There I found a medium I love working with, glass.  The colours and textures you can get in stained glass is practically endless.  Other media can be incorporated into your design, such as bits of jewellery, marbles and shapes made from fimo.  You don't have to be a brilliant artist or even be able to draw, just to have ideas. The sky is the limit, as they say.  The rest of the students are amazing, some of the work they do is inspiring.  Our tutor,  is very encouraging and for me, the two hours that the class lasts, is way too short.

I suffer from depression but doing the mosaics has helped be calm and focused, a big bonus.

Preparing for this current exhibition was fun but nerve wracking.  I am one of those people that as soon as the word 'deadline' is mentioned, I falter.  Even so, I got there and in the end have exhibited four pieces.
Su Starkey's mosaic 'Fire' - now on display at Pontefract Museum
For two of my pieces, night and day, I took the idea from a start burst shaped pearl brooch I had seen.  'Day' I hope you will agree with me reflects the wonderful colours of autumn and night, the cold evenings.  The buzz from seeing your work on the wall is indescribable. The exhibition is well worth a visit, you will be amazed at the variety of designs and imagination shown there.
Su Starkey

Several of the pieces are for sale - so why not pop to the museum and pick up an original work of art?

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