Symposium Speakers

A printable version of this page is available here.

Keynote Speaker

Emma BiggsEmma Biggs

London-based professional mosaic artist

Our keynote speaker Emma Biggs is coming from London and will also be running workshops in Sydney and Melbourne. She is one of the founders of the renowned Mosaic Workshop, the largest mosaic studio in Britain. She has authored and co-authored many books on mosaics. She also makes collaborative paintings with her husband, the well-known art critic Matthew Collings (presenter of the UK television Channel Four’s Turner Prize programme) who will be joining her on this trip.

Speakers and Workshop Presenters

(in alphabetic order)

Margo Anton

Canadian Mosaic Artist

Margot AntonMargo Anton has been working as a professional mosaic artist for over a decade, creating fine art mosaics, mosaic jewellery, and teaching classes. She has exhibited her highly textured art work in her native Canada, the USA, and Italy. When not creating , she shares her knowledge and love of the mosaic medium by teaching, from regular classes in Canada, to workshops in the USA, to artist residencies abroad. In 2009, she created the Mosaic a Day project, creating a small mosaic everyday. Her exceptionally precise jewellery was one of the by-products of this enterprise and her mastery of the tiniest cuts enables her to create these outstanding pieces.

Craig Barker

Manager of Education and Public Programs at Sydney University Museums

Craig-BarkerCraig Barker has a PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Sydney and has considerable archaeological fieldwork experience in Australia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. He is to co-director of the University of Sydney excavations of the ancient theatre of Nea Paphos. He is manager of education programs for the Nicholson and Macleay Museums and the University Art Gallery and has extensive experience in K-12 and adult museum education, and has published and presented on museum education in teacher and academic conferences and publications.

John Botica

New Zealand Mosaic ArtistJohn Botica

John Botica loves talking about his passion for pebbles. The New Zealand based artist firmly believes that making pebble mosaics is his destiny – and he pursues it with a passion, power and joy that is evident in every one of his works.

Noula Diamantopoulos

Noula Diamantopoulos is a Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist working across a variety of mediums including performance, sculpture, mosaics, printmaking, painting and encaustics. www.nouladiamantopoulos.comNoula

The core of her work is expressed through the medium of performance art as seen in her series of ongoing endurance performances titled Quest. Quest is a collaborative social project focused on community involvement and engagement which draws on relational aesthetics and the artist’s background as a practicing psychotherapist.

Noula is the Founding President of MAANZ, the Founding Director of the Mosaic Art School of Sydney and Studio of Spontaneous Creativity.

Noula’s mosaics can be seen in public venues in Leichhardt and Five Dock. She has also been commissioned to create large-scale site specific works for St Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church in Leichhardt and the Old Catholic Cathedral in Goulburn as well as having completed numerous private commissions.

Caitlin Hughes 

A Sydney based visual arts educator, mosaic practitioner and owner of Hughes Studio

Caitlin Graduating from the National Art School in 2000 with a BFA in Sculpture she went on to study a Master of Teaching at USYD graduating with the Sydney University Award for Excellence in Visual Arts Education. Caitlin has 15 years experience in visual arts teaching and has facilitated programs in schools, museums and galleries including Sturt Craft Centre, Penrith Regional Gallery, Powerhouse Museum and the MCA. Caitlin’s lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and works from her studio located in the historic Woodford Academy.

Pamela Irving

PamelaPamela Irving has worked as a full time artist for over 30 years. Her sense of humour, love of irony and respect for storytelling are apparent in her varied body of work.
Pamela’s works are represented in public and private collections in Australia and overseas, including the City of Melbourne, Museum Victoria, Art Bank, Regional Galleries, municipal and school collections. One of her mosaics has just been acquired by MAR Museo d’Arte della citta di Ravenna.
Irving has a Bachelor of Education and Master of Arts from the University of Melbourne

Kate Kerrigan

Lake Tahoe, USA mosaic artist,

Kate-KerriganAfter studying traditional methods and materials in Italy, I integrated my mosaic work with my photography, bringing my art full circle. My inspiration to create stems from what I see everyday. I love composition and am constantly framing my surroundings. Through photography, I am able to capture it, the light, the moment, the perspective. Through mosaic, I am able to take what I see one step further and interpret it, simplifying some of the details, yet restraining its essence. Having been influenced by the Impressionists and Urban Realists, I have developed a rather “poetic” eye. My compositions have unique perspective and tend to be rather emotive, drawing on feelings of isolation, melancholy, solitude and contemplation. As I work on a piece, it literally takes me back to that moment in time, that place, allowing me to linger there awhile longer. It is so fulfilling to see my image come alive, full of texture and dimension. It is a process that makes me feel totally connected to my work. I have a mosaic artist for 16 years and have been awarded and recognised on national and international levels.

Takis Kozokos

Sculptor specializing in marble and visual arts educaton.


Takis Kozokos graduated with honours from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Tinos Greece. He then studied at the Athens Higher Faculty of Fine Arts (ASKT). Master of Arts at Athens Fine Arts University. Kozokos worked as a sculptor and restorer on the Acropolis of Athens Restoration Project from 1990 to 1997,an then as en established official within the specialized field of sculpture at the Acropolis museum of Athens until 2000. Takis is a member of the Chamber of Visual Arts of Greece and has also been honoured by his colleagues as a Member of Juries. He is a member of the Sculptors Association of Greece, where he also served as President between the years of 1998 to 2000. Takis has 30 years experience in visual arts teaching and has organized programs as Artistic Director in three special Art Schools in Athens Greece. Kozokos is currently an Assistant Professor at the Democritus University of Thrace Greece, where he is a member of the teaching and research staff, which is within the Architectural faculty. Since 2001, he has collaborated with the Art Group of the university. Takis came to Australia in 2014.Since then he has organized many art workshops and he has presented lectures about Art and Culture at the University of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, AAC Australian Academy of Commerce, and elsewher. He has sculptures in public spaces, galleries and private collections in Greece, Europe and Australia.


Andrew LaveryLavery

Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching at Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney

Andrew Lavery was born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria. He has been a practising artist for 12 years and has exhibited widely in Australia abroad. Lavery has evolved as a conceptual multi-disciplinary artist with specific interests sculpture, installation and the handmade object in hybrid practice. Lavery has been the recipient of two Australia Council grants that have taken him to Venice, Italy to research ‘massiccio’ glass techniques and New York, USA to research hybrid uses of glass at the Corning Museum’s Rakow Research Library. Andrew’s work is recognised in major publications such as Australian Glass Today. His work is included public and private collections, including Art Bank, The National Art Glass Collection, Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery and Coca Cola Amatil. Andrew has maintained a long-standing interest in exploring social issues through his art practise; in particular, notions of commodity and the relationship of banality and suburban desire. His recent works are a form of archaeological barometer, implying layers of occupation by different social groups and their connection to the cultural and interpersonal fabric of urban life.


George Raftopoulos


Greek-born painter who grew up in rural NSW

George’s paintings, vivid and monumental in the spirit of Picasso’s neoclassical mode, blend two registers: the Greek past, whether the archaic past or the the near-present Corfu from which his family emigrated; and a use of colour and line that recalls Australia’s monochrome emptiness, as well as the fluid lines of John Olsen.   The result is once familiar and alien, elegant and disquieting, rigourous and anarchic.

  Paint, collage and digital imagery are all present in his works, but his works are engineered via content.  Browsing through his assemblage of art is a journey through quirky, angry and wistful reflections

Julie Richey

Julie RicheyAward-Winning Mosaic Artist from Texas, USA

Texas artist Julie Richey has been making mosaics for more than 20 years, creating custom residential and commercial installations in the US, Italy, Spain and Mexico. Her mosaics and award winning sculptures have been exhibited across the US, at the biennial Ravenna Mosaico festival and at the Orsoni Smalti Veneziani foundry in Venice as part of the Orsoni Grand Prize for mosaic in 2009.

Suzanne Spahi

Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Mosaic artistSuzanne Spahi

In her personal works, Suzanne specializes in interpreting antique oriental rugs in miniature mosaics. Such decorative works take between five and nine months to make. This subject matter came to her naturally, as she is a fan of elaborate rugs and has always had a desire to own the most famous antique ones. So now she weaves her personal stories in mosaic.

Heather Vollans

Mosaic Artist, Ontario Canada
Heather Vollans is an Australian mosaic artist living in Ontario, Canada. Prior to finding mosaic about 15 years ago, Heather dabbled in acrylic/oil painting, sculpture, jewellery making, furniture restoration, and lots of other crafts. Her passion for mosaic – often as a mixed media – has grown, her materials become more diverse and her exploration of methods and techniques continues. Heather’s passion is using discarded materials – often from construction sites, road sides and from around the home. Metals, plastics, tyre-rubber and asphalt are some of her favourite materials. Work always begins with the textural possibilities (and accumulation!) of found materials. Design follows materials, rarely the other way around – and the materials ‘speak’ to the design possibilities.

Her exhibition work often addresses subjects around “the human condition” – our emotions, influences, reactions, our relationships, our environment and the way we live our daily lives.

Heather has a number of community projects under her belt and continues to teach in local schools, galleries and colleges. Heather completed her first public project in 2013 and is currently a finalist for another.