British Association for Modern Mosaic to hold Forum in Edinburgh

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The British Association for Modern Mosaic (BAMM) will hold its annual forum in Edinburgh this year for the first time since it was founded eighteen years ago.

The two-day Forum entitled, Mosaic: A Celebration of Design, Expression & Colour, will take place at the University of Edinburgh & Edinburgh College of Art on September 30 and October 1, 2107. The event is usually held in London but Joanna Kessel, who runs Edinburgh Mosaic Studio, encouraged BAMM to hold it in Scotland this year.

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“There is a wealth of publicly accessible mosaics throughout the UK and it became evident through discussions within BAMM that there was an interest in creating opportunities to celebrate these. I am delighted that we are hosting the BAMM Forum in Edinburgh and that we have been able to attract such a large number of mosaic practitioners and enthusiasts to Scotland. This will truly be a celebration of Mosaic in Scotland” said Joanna, who exhibits her contemporary mosaics internationally and runs regular mosaic workshops from Edinburgh Mosaic Studio at Patriothall Studios in Stockbridge.

The University of Edinburgh is custodian of the fragments of the iconic Eduardo Paolozzi archway mosaic, which were salvaged during the upgrading of London’s Tottenham Court Road Tube Station; an additional reason why it seemed appropriate to hold this year’s forum in Scotland’s capital.

Two of the Forum’s speakers will talk about the Paolozzi mosaics: Christopher Smith who worked with Paolozzi in the 1980s on the creation of the Arches mosaics on the Northern Line and Liz Laumenech, Public Arts Officer at the University of Edinburgh, who will talk about future plans for the salvaged pieces.

The other four key speakers will further elaborate on mosaics:

  • Scottish slate mosaic artist Dugald MacInnes, who will reveal the work of his mentor and tutor at the Glasgow School of Art, the late George Garson, whose 1970s and 80s mosaics are still among the best known public mosaics in Scotland;
  • London based artist Emma Biggs, who played a key role in reviving the art of mosaics in the 1980s, who will talk about Byzantine mosaics and their influence on contemporary practitioners;
  • American mosaic artist and writer, Lillian Sizemore, on trail blazing 20th century women artists who worked with mosaics and tiles
  • Nathalie Vin, a mixed media mosaic artist with a focus on public art commissions, who will talk about her mosaic journey.

There will be short talks by Scottish mosaic artists Katy Galbraith, Dugald MacInnes and Helen Miles as well as by Australian Marian Shapiro.

The weekend event also includes a day of workshops where mosaic techniques and approaches will be taught. The subjects include how to make 3D mosaic substrates, using the mesh method, working with slate, a personalised mosaic tutorial, using colour in mosaics and geometry for mosaic artists. Workshops are open to everyone.

The Contemporary Mosaic Exhibition – the first of its kind to be held in Scotland for more than ten years – will open at the Patriothall Gallery to coincide with the Forum. The BAMM members’ open exhibition will showcase mosaic in all its forms, and will be open to the public from the 23rd September.

In addition, a comprehensive guide of over fifty mosaics in Scotland, featuring public buildings, cafés, shops and churches across the country, has been compiled to mark the event and will be available to attendees, and online as a pdf file. These mosaics are all accessible to the public to visit.

BAMM is a member organisation, founded in 1999, exists to promote, encourage and support excellence in contemporary mosaic art and to raise public awareness of modern mosaic art through exhibitions, publications, events and related educational activities.

Forum tickets (£78 members/£88 non members) and one-day workshop tickets (£90 including materials) are available from Eventbrite.

The exhibition will take place at Patriothall Gallery, Wasps Studios, Off Hamilton Place, Stockbridge from 23rd September to 1st October, 12 noon to 5pm; 10am to 5pm on Sunday 1st October.