Feature floor mosaic commissioned by Maber Architects and The Gelder Group for Newark fire station. This 1m x 1 m mosaic of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service logo was made using the indirect method of mosaic. This is the traditional Italian method of making a mosaic in reverse on brown paper and results in a completely flat surface ideal for flooring. It is also ideal for large scale mosaics, enabling the mosaic to be made in sections in the studio before installing on site. The mosaic is not revealed until set in cement and the paper peeled off which can be a little stressful! I enlisted the help of professional mosaic installer Bruno Pusateri to install the mosaic in the reception area of the fire station as the mosaic needed to be smooth and level to the surrounding ceramic tile.
In 2013 I was selected from more than 500 International artists to individually create a sculpture of the popular Wallace and Gromit character for Aardman Animations. 70 sculpture designs were chosen, many by well known artists including Raymond Briggs, Axel Scheffler, Sir Peter Blake, and Pauls Smith to name but a few.
My design was inspired by the golden Buddhas in Thailand and also the 2012 Olympics when post boxes were painted in gold in the hometowns of medal winning athletes. I wanted to create something highly decorative with a prestigious feel and there’s something special about the colour gold! Mosaic is a tactile medium, I wanted to encourage people’s instincts to touch the work and explore the detail and sense of movement. I used over 10,000 pieces of mosaic pieces and 3 different types of gold coloured glass to create an abstract design with pattern and movement. There are 1000 pieces alone in the gold mirror studded collar!
Golden Gromit was in situ outside the Victoria Rooms in Bristol for 10 weeks, was used on the cover of the official marketing brochures and went onto sell at auction for £30,000 raising funds for the Grand Appeal Charity, Bristol children’s hospital.
Commissioned by Nottingham City Council for the Nottingham Hoodwinked public art trail 2018. My design ‘Royal Robin Redbreast, sponsored by Castle Rock Brewery was inspired by the heritage of royalty at Nottingham Castle. William The Conqueror first built the castle in 1067 and Royal residents have included Henry II and Richard The Lionheart. I wanted to create a Robin with a rich, regal feel with golden wings, a jewelled Robin Hood style crown and quiver of golden arrows. Every Robin has an individual red breast so I wanted a lot of the detail to go into this area. I worked entirely freehand creating lots of swirls and patterns in different shades of red glass to create the effect.
The sculpture took over 200 hours to complete placing more than 10,000 individual pieces of mosaic. It was voted the most popular sculpture on the trail and went onto raise the highest bid at auction for Nottinghamshire Hospice.
“We’re really excited for people to see this beautiful mosaic robin as part of the Hoodwinked trail. Our congratulations and thanks go to Julie who has worked painstakingly on it for months, from the planning stages to hand-cutting pieces of mosaic and getting every detail right. It’s a stunning, colourful and intricate sculpture and we know it’ll look amazing outside Nottingham railway station” Lewis Townsend, Head of Marketing Castle Rock
Public art commissioned by David Wilson Homes for a new housing development ‘The Millstones’ in Queniborough, Leicestershire. The artwork consists of a glass mosaic millstone wheel sculpture designed in the style of a colour wheel. I worked with local stone sculptor Graeme Mitcheson to position the wheel on a natural stone plinth with a swirl of green mosaic flowing down. There are a series of 5 large stone boulders, each piece weighing around two tonnes framing the pathway through the development. The glass mosaic continues through the stonework ending with a final swirl of gold. The central area of the millstone wheel frames a view of the church steeple in one direction and the stone boulders and housing in the other.
Before designing the artwork I worked closely with the developers to host a public consultation workshop where members of the WI, local history groups and pupils at the sixth form college were invited to make a small mosaic of their own whilst discussing what type of artwork they would like to see.
Jason Hearn, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes East Midlands, said:
“The sculptures installed at our Queniborough development have been designed with the local area in mind, which is a fantastic way to reflect such a sought after area of Leicestershire.
“We wanted to choose something that would complement the area’s surroundings and thought this would be a great way to enhance our development.
“Thanks to the hard work of Julie, the residents at The Millstones now have these amazing and inspirational pieces of art to enjoy for a very long time.”