Decoration of public space
The qualities of mosaic include durability, rhythm, colour, form and narrative. As a result of their strength they can be included as a part of street furniture and placed underfoot, or at a height on a wall, where people can touch them.
Mosaics are a superb medium for decorative use in the public realm and could enliven our streets by linking them to local history. Mosaics illustrate local stories through image or text, bringing together the different voices of people that work on a mosaic collectively.
There is great opportunity to invest in the decoration of public space to counteract a trend that sees more and more of the built environment being master planned according to a global aesthetic. Mosaic-making instead emphasises craftsmanship alongside bringing local distinctiveness to the built environment.
Mosaic making is a collective practice. Mosaic-making is fun and therapeutic. It instils calmness, teaches patience, and engenders concentration and mindfulness. The collaborative nature of the creation process gives disparate individuals in a community a common goal, and facilitates social interaction for the isolated. When the work is installed and participants see the public enjoying it, they experience the pride of tangible positive impact in their community, and development of self-esteem and a deeper bond to the community because of it.