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Roman Mosaics Brought to Life: Videos by Maureen O’Kane

On 20, Jan 2010 | 2 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

Welsh mosaic artist Maureen O’Kane has translated some of the most beloved Roman mosaic themes into fantastical videos. We are totally smitten and think you will be too.

The Unswept Floor is a theme the Romans repeated again and again in the dining rooms of the poshest villas. What better way to invite guests to eat, drink and be merry with abandon than to present them with a floor already littered with the remains of previous parties?

The Unswept Floor, Herakleitos, 2nd Century BC

Maureen and her co-director, Jane Hubbard took this piece as the inspiration for their award-winning 2003 claymation film. You are going to love this.

O’Kane’s second video once again starts off with one of mosaic’s most beloved images, that of the Doves on a Bowl. The original is thought to be the “Doves of Sosos” as described by Pliny the Elder in his description of the Emperor Hadrian’s Villa. O’Kane’s doves come from the mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna below.

Maureen has been making mosaics for 20 years. On her blog, you’ll see some of her work, including this project for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Maureen explains:

(In 2005) I went to Barcelona to improve my Spanish originally and I got a placement there through a contact at the Mosaic Art school in Ravenna where I did a course some years ago. I worked on some of the mosaics that are used to add colour to the building – I also did a plaster modelling course in the plaster studios. For most of the time I worked in the studio of the Japanese sculptor Sotoo – who is one of the main sculptors along with the Catalan, Subirachs. I completed a model of a sheaf of wheat and a host from a fragment of a plaster model by Gaudi and worked on mosaic for the final piece which is installed on one of the spires.

Which just goes to show you, you never know where that next incredible opportunity is going to come from.

Do look at Maureen’s blog:

Enjoy — Nancie


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  1. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Thanks, Maureen. We do try. For every 20 internet rocks we turn over, we find one great item to share.

  2. Maureen

    MAN finds the coolest stuff.

    Marvelous videos.

Luca Barberini Bone Flowers