Piecing ideas together

amandaimage0©Amanda Whittle

Woodford Arts Group member Amanda Whittle reflects on their latest exhibition and explains her own sources of inspiration

As I write this, I am still buzzing from the excitement of our recent exhibition Through the Artists’ Eye, hosted by Packfords Hotel at the beginning of June. We had over 160 visitors who enjoyed our eclectic mix of styles and mediums. There was something for everyone to enjoy: sculpture, mosaic, photography, painting and original prints.

Held in the hotel’s light-filled conservatory, the weather – apart from one day – was gloriously sunny, giving our visitors an added bonus of enjoying refreshments in the shady garden. We were pleased to have the opportunity to show our work in such an enjoyable environment and chat to local visitors.

I have been making mosaics for over 20 years, and hopefully, improving my skills and developing my ideas. I work with traditional tiles and glass, as well as vintage china and found objects. I enjoy using vintage china in my mosaics but it is increasingly difficult to source, and once used it’s impossible to replace, so my mosaics are unique in that sense.

There are many artists (both past and present) who use broken china and found objects in their work. I have been lucky enough to visit Niki de Saint Phalle’s fantasy sculpture park, The Tarot Garden, in Tuscany, Italy as well as Antoni Gaudi’s Guell Park in Barcelona, Spain. Both are just amazing in their scale, detail and imaginative use of materials; both leaving a lasting impression and an experience I hope never to forget.

Whilst my work is often decorative, it also tells a story. Would you Adam and Eve it? (inset image) explores current issues around gender, our perceptions and expectations based on our own experiences, as well as our cultural heritage and education, while Hundertwasser is my Hero (main image) is a commission piece where the client wanted a second mosaic to complement an earlier one. I couldn’t copy the first piece but took elements from it in terms of design and materials used. My inspiration was Hundertwasser, a Viennese artist working from the 1950s to the 1990s, whose incredibly imaginative work I constantly return to.

The older I become, the more I realise I have to learn, and there are so many more incredible mosaic creations to encounter and enjoy.

For more information on Woodford Arts Group and its members’ work, visit woodfordartsgroup.org