Barnsley Mosaic

 Community Mosaic, Dearne Valley Park, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

  • completed March 2011
  • budget £1,740.00
  • commissioned by Barnsley MBC
  • supported by  Barnsley Football Club

I’ve put together lots of kits for people to make mosaics and I’ve worked on projects with many community groups to create mosaic features for parks and recreational spaces. This project was different. This time I was commissioned to produce a kit for a community to make their own mosaic for the local park.

Guided by staff from the Youth Service, young people in Barnsley produced lovely drawings of everything that makes Dearne Valley Park special. They researched the wildlife and woodlands, the activities enjoyed there by the public and the history of the site to pull together a collection of images for the mosaic.

All the drawings were brought across to the studio, together with a simple plan idea for the overall format that the officers from Barnsley Council provided. The mosaic feature was to replace a previous mosaic that fell into such poor repair that it could not be salvaged.

The brief from the Barnsley Council Officers was to produce a large rectangular mosaic, with specified dimensions, divided into sections that illustrate the themes mentioned above.

Here is my interpretation of the brief in the form of the proposal design

The selected colours correspond to the pallette available in the frost resistant tile range that I use for outdoor mosaic, matched as closely as possible to the artwork supplied to me for inclusion in the design. The overall size of the mosaic is 6 feet square, that’s just under two metres by two metres. The kit was made up in sections so that it was very flexible for different groups to work on separately or together or at different times.  It included full size templates, all the tile pieces, full instructions and brown paper and paste to hold the mosaic together in sections prior to installation at the park.

I was later invited to lead a full day of workshops using sections of the kit at the Ozone centre, Barnsley Football Ground where we spent a very pleasant and highly productive day making up some of the panels.

A couple of weeks later I installed the mosaic with my assistant (and husband), Paul, casting it in situ. Most of the young people involved came down to visit us and admire their fabulous work.

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