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artist in focus: liz tiranti

Liz worked as a mosaicist for over twenty years before embarking on a Master’s degree to consider challenging the conventional mosaic practices she had honed. Subsequently the guiding principle of her making became how to translate fragment to form. Using mudlarked finds from London’s River Thames, she has created an innovative aesthetic whose cornerstone is an independence of colour

How do you describe your work?

In thinking about my traditional mosaic work, I describe it as bold and inventive. It’s underpinned by colour but also shape and texture. It’s a skilled art form that celebrates and challenges mosaic traditions

What would you say are your greatest influences?

I’m inspired by artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Polly Apfelbaum, and by Abstract Expressionism and Byzantine Mosaic Art. Other influences include Julia Cameron, author of ‘The Artist’s Way’ and Gabrielle Roth who created Five Rhythms Dance. I’m also motivated by yoga nidra, the sea and sunlight

Who do you have in mind when you create your work?

This is a big question. There is always so much going on. Juggling the fear of starting something new with the expectations of the client or exhibition. Grappling with a new technique, making choices about the design. As I build momentum and confidence in the project at hand, the joy comes through. With the repetition of the mosaic work comes a mindfulness which both allows you to attach and detach from the making process. At this point I usually listen to podcasts, often of other artists talking about their practice. Ultimately, I become eager to see the work complete and to share it with others

What makes your art different, special and irresistible?

There are very few artists making mosaic sculpture. The glass materials which are made to reflect light do that so well on a 3D form - that is special. I would also say my unabashed use of colour and the scale of my work is different – and I plan to go bigger! My new work of ‘stacks’ is challenging mosaic traditions in a way that has not been done before. This is opening new conversations about contemporary mosaic art

What do people say when they see your collection / portfolio? How does your art make them feel?

Often there is a ‘wow’. Then people want to know ‘how’ - how long did it take? How did you make it? Is it heavy? Where do you get the materials from? People say I must be very patient to work on such large pieces, to which I reply in fact I’m impatient and that’s how I get the work finished! I’m a good finisher but a slow starter.

I think generally my work makes people feel happy, maybe even optimistic. They are often inspired to try making mosaic themselves. My own mosaic skills have been 25 years in the learning and so my goal is for each piece that I create to be exquisitely made

What do you think motivates people to buy your art? How does it appeal to the heart?

I think if you love my work, you really love it. It’s an instant reaction. The people who buy my work are often creative and open-minded with the potential to live with something uniquely colourful, reflective and extravagant. It’s about ‘right place, right time’…clients commission or buy when they have ‘just the right space’ for the work to live


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