When we first saw the video below we were, to put it mildly, gobsmacked. Mosaicist/Painter Emma Biggs and her husband Painter/Writer Matthew Collings have created something quite extraordinary in their installation Five Sisters at York St. Mary’s. The work was commissioned by the York Museums Trust and is comprised of a mosaic, Clay End, which contains over 10,000 Medieval pottery shards, and two strikingly abstract contemporary paintings, Paintress 1-20.
Emma consistently pushes our expectations for contemporary mosaics and has been an inspiration for me since I began working in mosaics. This line from a book she co-authored with Tessa Hunkin in 2001 still rings in my ears whenever I approach a new work: “Good design has to strike a balance between the simple and concise, and restraint to the point of boredom.”*
I get it. But, I also get that there’s nothing boring about Emma at all. Oh, to be in England. The installation will remain in place until November 1, 2009.
The 2010 edition of Mosaic Art NOW carried the very thorough article below by Jennifer Blakebrough-Raeburn.
Enjoy — Nancie
* Quote from “Outdoor Mosaic” Emma Biggs and Tessa Hunkin, 2001, Trafalgar Square Publishing