I love the history and art form of mosaic, and I love helping other people to advance their knowledge and practice of it too.
I originally trained in Fine Art as a painter and have been working full-time as an artist, now for 30+ years. An influential part of my mosaic story is that after completing a big mosaic commission in Bondi in 1989, I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to be an artist in residence at the Spilimbergo Mosaic School in Italy. Six intensive months in Italy changed my life. This dream was made possible with grants from The Australia Council and Arts Victoria (now called Creative Victoria). I was funded under the ‘Community Cultural Development’ arm, which is about feeding back knowledge to and working with community – an obligation I still take very seriously.
So as well as making large public commissions, I have been teaching mosaic for 20 years since – in my own Castlemaine studio, away from home as a guest lecturer, and through intensive residential mentorships at the amazing Eastern Beach Art House in Geelong. Up until covid I have been leading annual Mosaic Study Tours in Italy for Australian mosaic enthusiasts, which I hope to do again later in 2022 or 2023.
In 2019 I completed a practice-led PhD, exploring ‘Mosaic: Classical Principles and the Act of Making in Contemporary Works’, so I love the academic stuff of mosaic too. (If you’re really keen, you can read my thesis). But for now I am just delighted to be a more active member of MAANZ as joint State Rep, with Bev Plowman and Barb Uhlenbruch.
THRIVING AND SURVIVING IN INTERESTING TIMES: The Synergy Project and making mosaics beyond Covid-19
In 2019 The Venice Biennale was titled ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’. (Little did they know what lay ahead.) Helen Bodycomb will share some of the mosaic works from this major event – sometimes referred to as the contemporary art Olympics. Helen will also explore how these ‘Interesting Times’ open ways for mosaic makers to think and work differently through both traditional and experimental mosaics, and she will use The Synergy Project as just one example.