Image Image Image Image Image

* = required field

BOM: get the Best of Mosaic Art NOW

Keep up with what’s happening in the world of  contemporary mosaics on your own time by subscribing to The BOM.

The BOM is a weekly digest showcasing three MAN articles and the top five tweets of the week. Sign up below and  The BOM will show up in your email inbox every Sunday at noon Pacific Standard Time.

We hate spam, too, so we won’t share your information with anyone else and guarantee that The BOM will be the only time you’ll hear from us – unless, of course, something really great comes up.

Scroll to Top

To Top



This Article appears in:

Home Spotlight Articles

Read the comments:


Seriality, Rhythm & Archeology: Interview with Sonya Louro Do Rego by Luca Maggio

On 04, May 2013 | 7 Comments | In Art, Artists, Home Spotlight Articles | By Nancie

Sonya Louro Do Rego "Fall" 2011 150 x 50 x 25 cm Shells and marble on wood and polystyrene Photo: MAN

One of our favorite pieces in the Young Artists and Mosaic (GAEM) exhibit in Ravenna in 2011 was “Fall” by South African born artist Sonya Louro Do Rego.  We were happy to learn more about her in this interview by Luca Maggio, art historian, curator and blogger who is always at the very heart of what is happening in Ravenna’s contemporary mosaic scene.  We’re looking forward to hooking up with Maggio while we’re in Ravenna this coming October to see what delights this year’s GAEM will provide.  NOTE to Artists under 40:  The deadline for submissions for this year’s GAEM is May 26th.  Enjoy – Nancie

"Roots" 2011

Luca Maggio:  Sonya Louro Do Rego (Johannesburg, South Africa, 1977): What was your course of study? How did you discover the language of mosaic?

Sonya Louro Do Rego:   Well, I grew up in South Africa and from a very early age I knew I wanted to be an artist, so all my life I’ve dedicated my studies to art – in every possible form. In high school, I had the most amazing and inspiring art teacher, Mr Gibb, who not only instilled in me a passion for painting and expressive use of colour, but also introduced us to the versatile technique of collage and use of the ‘found object’, which was very much a part of contemporary South African art in the 90′s. After finishing high school with solid training in drawing, painting and ceramics, I then went on to study Fine Arts at Rhodes University where I majored in Painting. It was here where my quest to create 3-D paintings was born. Although I had come across mosaic in the form of lovely decorative objects, it was many years later, while living in Italy, that the word ‘mosaic’ took on a whole new meaning – I had heard about this beautiful mosaic school in Spilimbergo and the minute I set foot inside I knew that I had found the medium I’d been looking for!

"Order" 2009 55 x 55 cm Thorns and marble

"Fall" 2011 150 x 50 x 25 cm Shells and marble on wood and polystyrene

LM:  Drawing, painting, sculpture and mosaic: in which of these possibilities is your home?I find your work Fall (presented at the Prize GAEM 2011, Ravenna, Italy) very interesting both for its asymmetrical balance and the use of natural materials (shells and marble) that were used to obtain a final, 3-dimensional result that reminds me of a kind of fossilized dorsal spine or of a canyon, but perhaps it couldn’t be like this… Can you explain your way of interpreting the mosaic?

SLDR:  I’ve always been interested in exploring the boundaries between the various art forms. Despite my classical (and rather rigid) training in drawing and painting, I guess I’ve always leant towards sculpture as a means of expression, or more specifically, the use of sculpture as a means to break up the flatness of the image surface. So, in mosaic I’ve found a technique that, not only allows me to achieve this, but is ideal in pursuing another constant theme of mine: seriality. It’s in the repetitiveness of the ‘tessera’ that I aim to create rhythmic compositions. In Fall I’ve tried to capture the sense of something moving, something alive, yet ancient – like something that’s been lying dormant for ages and is now slowly stirring awake. Your interpretation is quite insightful – the title Fall refers to both a ‘waterfall’ and ‘the fall of mankind’. The composition is designed as a landscape in aerial view. And, yes, it’s a canyon, with a waterfall and a river running through. But it’s obviously not meant to be a figurative representation, but only serves as the foundation or the ‘canvas’ to then be mosaicked.

"Fall" detail Photo: MAN

The materials were specifically chosen and applied to create a flowing and cyclical composition, to be read like a story (or history, if you prefer), with a beginning, a middle, a cathartic ending and a rebirth. I couldn’t have found better materials to help express this: marble is eternal and is symbolic of man’s evolution; and the shells naturally evoke images of ancient remains and bones. I loved the idea of creating a composition that is vaguely reminiscent of an archaeological site.

"Undone 1" Dyptich 2009 40 x 85 cm Shells, slaked lime

"Undone 2" 2009 40 x 85 cm. Slaked lime, nails, marble, clay

LM:  What is the mosaic situation in your country and what are your plans for the future?

SLDR:  Actually, I now live in Italy permanently with my partner and my 1-year-old daughter. Here, in Friuli, I think I’m not alone in the struggle to have mosaic recognized as an art form. As my colleagues and I have had training at the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli, we are generally seen as artisans, despite the school’s constant endeavors to promote and teach mosaic, not only as a trade, but also as a means of artistic expression. Mosaic is still predominantly used as a decorative technique in design and architecture or as a suitable method to make copies of preexisting images or artworks. Slowly this perception is changing as mosaicists are realizing the diversity that this medium provides and more and more ‘alternative’ mosaics are emerging. But at the moment, I still feel torn between working on commissions and dedicating my time to creating my personal pieces. As for my future projects, I’ve just recently started working after a long maternity leave. Being filled with the joy of motherhood, you can expect my new works to be far more colorful and uplifting. I’m also experimenting with a new medium, or rather, a very old craft: needlework!

"Time" 2008 65 x 65 cm Marble, stone, shells


Share this article


  1. jim bachor

    very interesting work!

  2. elahe


  3. elahe

    im a mosaic artist but your art works…. …..were perfaect

  4. Julie

    Wonderful insights. She’s on to something very interesting.

  5. Allan Punton

    The piece shown in Ravenna 2011 is memorable and indicates a highly developed individual style. Pleased to see more of this artist’s work.

    • Nancie

      Pleased to bring it to you, Allan. We’re grateful for Luca Maggio’s thoughtful interview.

Submit a Comment

Adams.jpgAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoHouston.jpgJim_Bachor_This_is_not_a_craft_2010_11inx14insara.jpgWebb_Bryant Patio RaysMohamed Banawy  "City 1" 2011  49 x 49 cm  Clay, glass, cement.Luca Barberini Bone Flowersandres_basurto_large08.jpgBeauchamps-SeasonofSunandwind-2AprilBegayhungry-for-gold-320x312Jolino_Bessera_DontCutYourTongueOnTheRhinestonesMarie-laure-BessonFragmentsIVBiggsTide6272969822_38f84a7e5f_z.jpgMeredith Live Oak bark, recycled tempered glass, paint, metallic powders39.jpgMangere+Mosaic.jpgGerardBrandGerstheim2014JesusJo BraunMarco_Bravura_Recuperi_d'_OroSunflowers+smalti+unglazed+ceramic+63+x+48+cm.jpgLilian_Broca_Queen_Esther_Revealing_Her_True_IdentityCarl&SandraBryantCaco3+movimento+n7full.jpgPixel_Context_Pixel_TributeToNicanorParra_2014_150x200cm (3)Photo:  APLaura Carraro "Breath" 2013  123 x 40 cm.  Stones, marble, tile, silicone tubing, PVC, inverted mirror.  Photo courtesy MARRaffaella Ceccarossi "Emerging" 2013 37 x 140 x 12 cm  Smalti and marble.mail-2.jpgCharny Birds in Hair 1000LChinn ArabesqueRamblings_for_sending_copy12.jpgSergio Cicognani Untitled 82 x 90cm  Marble, smalti, fresco paintingSelf-Portrait, 2004-2005 102 x 86Clough.jpgBiggs_and_CollingsRebecca_Collins_StrengthToStrength_2011Luca_Carlo_Colomba_4552.jpgKeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo from the artist's Facebook page.DSCN0270.JPGCzapracki.jpgJeanAnn Dabb "Assay 1: Delamar" 2012  20 in. diameter  Bone ash cupels, ceramic crucibles, glass, porcelain.  In the background:  "Core:  Tintic District"  2012  Triptych 70 x 13 in panels.  Stone core samples, ceramic, smalti, woodAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julie_Dilling_Keep_Me_WarmDimit.jpgKatrina Doran  Noli Me TangereGary Drostle, 2010 "Movement and Vitality" DetailDrouin.jpgErcolani.jpgFaileSizeVisionMosaic.jpgneda-600x400.jpgRosanna FattoriniCynthia Fisher  "To Everything There Is A Season, Summer"  2011  25 x 33 in.  vitreous glass, stained glass, smalti, stone, unglazed porcelain, broken pottery, marble, mirror glass, groutSara Frost "Querty" Detail  Photo: via Colossal.comBenedetta Galli "We Are The 99" 2013 140 x 200 cm  Photos and silicone on canvas.Giovanna Galli (France)5pods.jpgRed+Pods.jpgLarry_M_Levine.jpgGoode.jpgElaine M Goodwin Touching ParadiseRoberta Grasso "Memory of a Dream" 2012  460 x 230 cm  Silicon, smalti, ceramic glass, organza, tulle.Jhgreen_wall.jpgfull.jpgErika+full.jpgYakov Hanansen "Brain" 36 x 36 in. Hand-made ceramic tesserae, porcelain, smalti.Hanansen_GRS_framed_2000Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Kim Jae Hee "Corea del Sud" (Uncomfortable House) 2010 40 x 40 cm Nails & felt  Photo courtesy MARProgressonIII Rhonda HeislerIMG_1199.jpgLaura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi"  DetailSamantha Holmes "Absensce (Moscow)" 2012  260 x 150 cm  Marble, smalti, ceramic glass, gold.hubbell-intro.jpgTessa_Hunkin_Varieties_PeakingDog_PhotoTHHutchinson_Tango_Corto1Iliya Iliev  "Sesif"  2010  70x120cm diptych.  Stones, glassMombasa.jpgPamela Irving "Mr. Logomania" 2013 (Australia)Iskander+Impromptu-in-Blue+2000.jpgKate Jessup "Tense Twinships" 2012  36x52 in.  Glass, wood, thinset, stone, found objectsjones-time-for-lunch-1000Francien Jongsma Simonemichaelferris.jpgZhanna Kadyrova "Diamonds" 2006  Variable. Cement, tile.Kaitis.jpgVadzim Kamisarau "The Main News 3"  2012  50 x 95 cm  Cement, smaltikenawy-memories-full1Keren.jpgKate_KerriganWalkingInRainMatko_KezleInki-400-bimg-kii-blue-grids-in-blue-big.jpgPermafrost+King.jpgAndrej-Koruza-Structured-1-2011-Detailkozachek+Three+Intruding+Fanatics.jpgMichael_Kruzich_SylvesterKazumi Kurihara "Il Libro Legge" (The book reads) 2011 (Japan)Melaine_Lenoelevy-a-man-in-a-waiting-room-300dpi-1000Bett Ann Libby "China Leaf Tea" 2006  13 x 13 x 10 in.  Photo:  David CarasMarco De Luca "La Morte di Ofelia" 2003 123 x 183 x 3 cmLucas.jpgSager.jpgdragonflycompleteMonica_Machado_The_Clothes_Line_2000_260cmCorde-à-linge-Monica-Machado-détailstone-circle-dugald-macinnesMohamad Banawy "Abstract 3" 2010 80 x 80 cm  Clay, glass.MAN2009-Marzi-foto.jpgEaster_Egg_Mosaic_02.jpgAnadoMcLaughlinru paul2.pngHildreth_MeiereCathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Drinking deer mosaic on northJeroenMeijerMaterNostra2008"More American Gifts:  Grenades"  2005  5.5 x 3.9 x 3.5 in  Ceramic, porcelain, plaster, wire, metal, cement adhesive, grout.the rainJason Middlebrook "Brooklyn SeedsFlaking paint on wooden door, Perthshire, Scotland. Photo: Helen Miles MosaicsAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julian_Modica_zappa.jpgMosaic RhinocerosLynnMoorPipgtailGirlBOMIMG_6541.jpgJinette+Mosaique.jpgMosaïzm "Gallaxiam" 2013 Detail  Photo courtesy MARCleo Mussi "Mind"  2012Silvia_Naddeo-Transition-2012Megumi-Naitoh-4192010-detail-Michael-WelchFamiliarGroundNewton Serenity 2FelicesBalls_4546.jpg8419_1251766378980_1374130919_703135_1818425_n.jpg"Cerulean Rendesvous" Carole Choucair-Oueijan 53.5 x 45 in.    Smalti, 24 karat gold smalti, cristallino, marble, granite111_0424.jpgFamiliarGroundNiki_de_Saint_Phalle_Tarot_Garden114Picasso.TeteFauveSergio-Policicchio-Corpi-celesti-2011"Dama-Dama" (2014) 1385 x 1165 cm.Elena Prosperi "Wakan-Tanka" 2013  60 x 198 cm  Tiffany glass, glass metal leaf, stones, feathers.Allan Punton "The Three Doges" 2014 Inspired by a ghost story by Alberto Toso FeiRebecca+detail.jpgAndjelka Radojevic  My Little ChickadeeGila+Rayberg+Morning+After.jpgSonya Louro do Rego "Fall" 2011 150 x 50 x 25 cm Shells and marble on wood and polystyrene  Photo: NTMP3312140193_3f2f0905ec.jpgNightshirt-Richey.jpegMo-Ringey-Stools-2004Faith Ringgold "Flying Home:  Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown)" 1996  Photo via MTA Arts for Transitdiego_rivera1-320x160Anna Rommel "Green Fish"clug romaniaAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoRuth_Minola_Scheibler_nightflight_024"x4"Peter Rabbit & fence Beatrix Pottermedium_Reminiscence.jpgWINDSTILL+1.jpgGino-Severini-Church-of-St-Mark-Cortona-Mosaic-wiki-cropIlana Shafir WhirlBeneath+1.jpgmail.JPGVox+Sizemore.JPG100_5652.jpgJasna SokolovicSollinger+Old+Growth+2000.jpgCarol Stirton-Broad "From My Sister's Garden #3" 2013 3.5 x 10.5 inPam Stratton "Twin Lights"Hisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Carol Talkov "What's Inside" 2012  14 x 17 x 4tavonatti+4+close+up.jpgKathy Thaden  The VisitCynthia Toops "Wolf and Dog" 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich  Photo:  Michael WelchBrooks Tower "No Pants"  2004  24 x 14 in.Matylda Tracewska "Untitled" 60 x 48 cm. Marble and paint.Matylda Tracewska "Black Square III"  2011  80 x 80 x 4 cm.  Marble, smalti.Crack+true.jpgTunick_07_1Federico UribeVital CU 02vortex+close+up.jpgennisHouse_1428291c.jpgIsaiah Zagar    Photo WikipediaAleksey Zhuchov "Still Life With Bottles" 2012  50.5 x 47 cm  Natural and artificial stone, smalti.