Greetings! I know I have completely fallen off of the face of the earth over the last two weeks. As happens to everyone when routines change and life gets a little busier, it has taken be a couple of weeks to reach stasis once more. I am happy to report that I am finally to a point in which I can once again add blogging–and artful explorations back into my life!
To start getting you thinking for February’s Nature Art Challenge (which will focus on exploring the environment through MOSAICS), I wanted to introduce you to the work of some pretty amazing mosaic artists. For today, check out the mosaics of Ilana Shafir, an incredible artist from Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia. Her biography is well worth the read. Growing up during the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, much of her early works were informed by her experiences and encounters during that time–painting and drawing the suffering and sadness of Jews during this time. Her work later shifted to mosaics and, since 1980, she has been an active artist in a growing community of mosaic artists throughout the world.
Though I find many of her mosaics to be absolutely beautiful, I am particularly interested in her thought process as she creates these works. She calls her process “The Spontaneous Mosaic,” as she lets the materials dictate the design of her composition. She explains, “The artist paints with stones and composes with the shapes and lines that are inherent in the found materials.” She continues, “I usually start with one interesting piece that attracts me and says something to me. This initial piece serves as a key element that will further dictate the development of the entire work.”
Through her mosaic work, Shafir forms a closer relationship with her materials–as they are manipulated and handled. She often is inspired by objects that she finds during various moments of her day. Based on one object, she then builds an incredible composition–building on her ideas and experiences with that object.
I hope you enjoy exploring the mosaics of Ilana Shafir as much as I have!
‘Til later…happy explorations!