A mosaic is a pattern or image, made of small regular or irregular pieces of coloured stone, glass, jewellery or ceramic tiles, held in place by plaster/mortar. It covers a surface, or is used as floor and wall decoration. It has a long history, with the earliest dating back to the 3rd millennium BC at a temple in Abra, Mesopotamia.
From the 4th century onwards, wall and ceiling mosaics flourished in the Byzantine Empire, and from the 15th century, patterns and pictures became widespread in Greece and Rome.
Modern mosaics are made using materials other than traditional stone, and utilises stained glass, shells, beads, charms, chains, gears, coins, pieces of costume jewellery, and in styles that owe as much to video game pixel art and pop culture as to traditional mosaic.
Street art has seen a novel reinvention and expansion of mosaic artwork. Portuguese pavement style, calçada, a two-tone stone mosaic is common throughout the Lusosphere. Many cities have sidewalks and occasionally streets, particularly in Lisbon, and maintain almost all walkways in this style.
Between the 7th to 15th centuries, various dynamic and creative forces – political, religious and cultural nuance – converged to shape the future of the Indian subcontinent.
MOSAIC SCENE IN GOA
In Goa, Carpe Diem Art Gallery, Majorda, extends the opportunity to learn mosaic art with Marilyn DCosta, a graduate in Sociology and Psychology from St Xavier’s College Mapusa. She also holds a diploma from KC College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Mumbai, and has worked in Mumbai and Kuwait.
In 2019, she incepted ‘Mosaic Imprints’. “My interest in mosaic art began 11 years ago when my mother enrolled me in a summer camp, where I discovered mosaic art, taught by mosaicist Shallu Sharma. Learning basic techniques, I created a few mosaic mirrors for my home,” says she.
Along the way, she explored new materials, textures and colours of stained glass, and also learnt the art of cutting glass and crafting intricate designs, portraits, sun-catchers and panels.
“When it comes to mosaic art, my journey has been a blend of different elements. I've had the privilege of being guided and mentored by a professional, and began exploring and experimenting, and progressed with unwavering support and encouragement from family, all of which has enriched artistic journey,” she elucidates.
The time required to construct a mosaic piece can significantly vary, based on factors such as the complexity, size and design of the finished product. Smaller mosaic pieces can often be achieved within a few hours or a day; intricate and larger works range from weeks to months.
Marilyn is inspired by nature, flora and fauna, predominantly working with stained glass and ceramic tiles, while also incorporating stones, pebbles and shells, which enhance the aesthetic appeal of the piece.
Marilyn admires Caroline Jariwala, an ethical mosaic artist who works with chipped, rejected crockery, and tiles that would be destined for a landfill. Over the past two years, she has participated in several exhibitions, and a few pop-up bazaars where her work has had an overwhelming response.
The Goa Collective Bazaar, at the Hill Top Bazaar, Vagator, gave her a footing. Her art, displayed at Siroi lifestyle boutique, is a uniquely curated collection of contemporary art in Parra, North Goa, had a wider buying audience.
Marilyn affirms, “During my workshop journey, a significant milestone occurred when I was given the chance to conduct my inaugural workshop at Carpe Diem in May 2023. It was a fulfilling experience to guide participants in the techniques and intricacies of mosaic art, while sharing my knowledge and fostering creativity within a supportive environment.”
The workshops, which have 8 to 10 participants attract diverse age groups from a cross strata of society, social backgrounds and culture. Mentoring students and hobbyist at Mosaic Studio in Benaulim, she looks forward to opportunities ahead.
Painting, gardening, swimming and dancing in her leisure time, she says that monetary wise, experiencing challenges venturing into bigger projects and conducting workshops definitely aid the financial situation. Since options for procuring material locally are limited, she sources materials from abroad, which increases overheads.
Marilyn believes that a combination of hard work, patience, luck and putting in the effort to augment skills, go a long way in achieving goals. For her, “It’s a deep meditative and therapeutic experience. I find peace and a connection which can be articulated as being in tune with the Divine.”
Details of Marilyn Dcosta’s next mosaic workshop:
WHERE: Carpe Diem Art Gallery, Majorda
WHEN: July 9, 2023
TIMINGS: 3 pm – 6 pm
FEES: ₹ 3,000 (includes materials and refreshments)
LAST DATE TO REGISTER: July 6, 2023
TO REGISTER: https://carpediemmajorda.myinstamojo.com/product/3848853/mosaic-workshop-with-marilyn-dcosta-8470b/