South West Mosaic Artists

Lyme Regis Museum, Rotunda Gallery.

7 December 2022 through to 15 January 2023.

Four mosaic artists from the South West have come together to exhibit 48 miniature mosaics they have created especially for Lyme Regis Museum’s Rotunda Gallery. Alison Hepburn, Manya McMahon, Allan Punton, and Janet Ventre are the artists involved, and the exhibition, called ‘Keeping It Small’, will be open from Wednesday 7 December until Sunday 15 January, perfectly timed to celebrate the holiday season and launch the New Year.

The artists have created these pieces using the same small size for their compositions, but the inspirations and thus the results are very different. Janet works at Cockington Craft Centre in a beautiful country park in Torquay and is inspired by its wildlife, particularly the birds that visit all year round, using them as a starting point for her collection. Used to working in much larger sizes, Manya decided not to plan in advance, but to start with a favourite piece of stained glass and see where that led her, thus achieving a very spontaneous result.

This project also marked a change of direction in Alison’s work. Instead of relying on mosaic’s usual materials such as glass and stone, she was able to create exactly what she wanted without compromise by hand-making each tile from polymer clay, mica powders, Tibetan charms, texture stamps and resin. Finally, Allan’s inspiration came from the woodcuts of Thomas Bewick, the 18th century English engraver and natural history author. He has also used a limited colour palette whilst maintaining the richness of gold, thereby echoing the mosaics of the Byzantine period.