The idea of creating a mosaic within ice occurred to me through pictures of the frozen North Sea, taken in Henne Strand, Denmark.
Coming from Greece, the sea has an important role in my life. Not only as an imagery but also as an appealing sense of freedom that emerges from the outspread horizon and the perpetual and fleeting movement of the sea.
Due to the environmental change, winter time in Athens, Greece is very short. The chance to play and explore snow has become an exception
Visiting Danemark, I was fascinated by the exceptional landscape and the forms being created by the frozen seawater. Also, I was astound by the actual fact of stabilization of the movement of the sea. It is as time pauses. Or as if all time, gets concentrated within a present moment.
Having spent more time in observing this natural phenomenon, I came to discover an incredible beauty that emerges as the ice melts back into water, gravitating me within a silent low tempo.
The creation and deterioration of the Ice Mosaic, invites the visitor to observe the imperceptible, minimal and toned down transformations of light and water transparency. The artwork functions as an occasion for the viewer to meditate and to surrender within the fleeting and imperceptible nuances of beauty of the ice world.
The Ice Mosaic illustrates a drawing of light that gets reflected on sea waves.
Small hand made bronze tesserae follow the design of the drawing. The empty space gets filled with water. When the water freezes it stabilizes the tesserae and it creates the ice mosaic.
The Ice mosaic draft has been produced in Athens in a small scale, within a freezing room. A short video and some pictures present the melting of the ice mosaic and its deterioration back to the material elements, water and bronze. The artwork can be produced again and again, like in the repetitive circle of nature. Every time its deterioration produces a different visual result, depending on the environmental conditions that interact to the melting of the ice.
I intentionally use the traditional mosaic technique in my work, to comment on the experience of tactility. As nowadays we are urged to perceive our world as/through digital data, we are distancing ourselves from the experience and the expertise of touch. I want to focus on the hand made quality, as one that encapsulates time. Also, as a quality that manages to point out the imperfect and the unique, as fundamental human features.
I am interested in approaching tangibility as a tool to investigate the connection between creation and deterioration, the interrelation among unit, repetition and multitude, the association between the unique and the ordinary, and finally the use of the breakage or the fragment as a triggering event to recreate.
An opus vermiculatum mosaic can be collimated with a digital picture and every tesserae can be perceived as a pixel. Still, there is a fundamental functional difference in between. A digital picture in order to be perceived as a whole, demands a spatial distance. While an opus vermiculatum urges the viewer to approach and to focus their gaze on the diversity of the handmade tesserae. The viewer is gravitated towards the mosaic, being invited to delve into the artwork and to create time for the emergence of his personal perception.
The Ice Mosaic attempts to comment on the velocity of visual perception and the consequent contemporary lack of penetration within time and space.
I see a mosaic artwork not so much a visual installation but rather as a mass of time fragments. A rhythm that features the transformative effect of time.
With the Ice Mosaic project I try to comment on the tranformative, repetitive and valuable rythm of Nature and on the oscillate move between Light and Darkness. The bronze tesserae function within, as simple reflections.
*opus vermiculatum is the archeological term used to signify a mosaic created with very small tesserae. This technique was used intentionally in the most important parts of the iconography, for example in the faces or the hands.