MOSAIC IN HISTORY: SYMBOL OF THE UPPER CLASS
When sages in ancient Greece ensured a solid status of their thoughts through architectures and sculptures, they also created inlaid artworks with durable materials to communicate with later generations. Those inlaid artworks created by them with coloured blocks in regular or irregular shapes of similar sizes are known as MOSAIC. MOSAIC comes from the Greek word “MUSA”, namely the nine muses who master poet, art, science etc. in classical mythology.
(Reconstruction of a mosaic from the Eanna temple, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic )
Mosaic originated from Mesopotamia more than three thousand years ago. In ancient Greece and Rome, the mosaic was widely used in classical patterns and paintings. Besides that, walls and ceilings in early Christian churches since the 4th century were decorated with mosaic. From the 6th to the 15th century, mosaic art developed prosperously in the Byzantine Empire. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic). At that time, themes of mosaic creation focused on religion and myth.
(Epiphany of Dionysus mosaic, from the Villa of Dionysus (2nd century AD) in Dion, Greece. Now in the Archeological Museum of Dion. http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Mosaic_Epiphany-of-Dionysus.jpg)
Such a diverse form of collage art always enjoyed great popularity among members of the upper class. They showed off their wealth by producing mosaic artworks with complex forms and rare materials. However, along with the rising of other art forms (e.g. painting, sculpture) in the Renaissance period, the influence of mosaic gradually declined.
MOSAIC IN MODERN AGE: STYLISH DECORATION
Driven by the boom of science, technology, culture, and art since the 19th century, no prominent style could dominate all aspects of art and design like those (e.g. Baroque, Rococo, Modernism) in previous periods. Nowadays, people are pursuing more elaborate design experiences, thus mosaic has once again become a powerful tool for designers with its free, diverse, and flexible design language.
(by Paul Siggins，British mosaic artist)
In terms of spatial decoration, mosaic art has broken through restrictions of traditional materials and shapes. Today, both geometrical and non-geometrical blocks made of multiple materials (e.g. metal, glass, porcelain) have become mediums of mosaic art.
Inspired by Le Rêve (The Dream) by Picasso
Unlike usual applications of stone or wood, mosaic breaks up materials and then recombines them to create new vitality, thus each component of mosaic becomes a respirable cell. Through such art language, mosaic effectively improves dimension, atmosphere, and texture of contemporary spatial design.
----MOSAIC TILES IN PUBLIC SPACES
Greenwich Grind, London, DESIGN BY Biasol
Brick walls and concrete walls of the restaurant present rich yet low-profile texture. Processing of materials and colours followed minimalist techniques. Correspondingly, the black and white mosaic floor makes the indoor space lively but not noisy, making the restaurant unique and enchanting.
Pirana London, DESIGN BY Sella Concept
The designer of the restaurant adopted bold colour combinations to attract visitors. Meanwhile, blue and white mosaic tiles with small size were applied to enrich details of large colour blocks. In addition, the indoor bar counter and some walls were also decorated with small-sized mosaic tiles as a response. No matter in colour or material, the restaurant has reached a subtle balance between vintage and modern design.
----MOSAIC TILES IN HOME DECORATION
Stunning Golden Backsplash, designed by Gemma Medden
Pictures by Gemma from luxeology
Herringbone Marble Backsplash and Flooring in Bathroom, By E-MosaicTile
Carrara White Marble Backsplash, By E-MosaicTile