Chedworth Roman mosaics to go on display
One of the longest in-situ Roman mosaics in Britain
is to go on display for the first time in 150 years at Chedworth
Roman Villa, Gloucestershire.
BBC News Gloucestershire
27 December 2011
Archaeologists uncovered the mosaic and others
as part of a £3m redevelopment. They said they had known
for many years there were more than those already on display
inside two Victorian-built timber sheds. The mosaics will go
on show inside a new conservation shelter at the site, which
is owned by the National Trust.
National Trust archaeologist Martin Papworth said
the mosaics had been seen and noted during Victorian excavations.
"Only two areas were put on display under the old shelters,"
he said. "However, when we did some work to check on their
condition we were concerned that frost and weather were affecting
them and it was agreed they could be better protected by building
a new environmentally controlled shelter over that whole section
of the villa and excavating them for display."
The mosaics include one of the longest in-situ corridor mosaics
in the country, which is 35m (115ft) long. It will go on display
under a special walkway allowing visitors to walk just above
the Roman floor. One remaining section of the corridor mosaic
will be excavated next summer.
Conservator Chris Cleere said: "The mosaics
were wet when they were excavated and now they are safe inside
the new building we will let them dry out and see what happens.
Then we can assess what type of work we need to do over next
summer for the long term conservation. In the short term we
will clean the mosaics, stabilise them and prepare them for
display to the first visitors."
The new conservation shelter, a redeveloped visitor
facility and a new education centre will be officially opened
on 4 March.
Mosaic artworks go on display in "Green
More than 125 mosaics can be found in the sunken garden on
Loch Promenade, Douglas, Isle of Man
by Tessa Hawley
They are part of an initiative called "Garey
Glass – Green Garden" which aims to encourage environmental
responsibility. The sunken garden has a "recycle-reuse-reduce"
theme and as well as the mosaics, which have been made using
recycled material, features a pathway constructed from recycled
Community arts specialist Debra Tracey worked
with local charities and voluntary groups to create the mosaics
for the garden. She said: "Garey Glass has been a tremendous
community effort involving people of all ages and abilities.
"I held a number of work sessions in the
run up to the launch and it was wonderful to see whole families,
from very young children to grandparents, getting involved with
making the mosaics - every single piece of which has been used
which makes the project truly inclusive.
"We've used as much recycled material as
possible, right down to the jars and containers for the eco-art
classes, and we found all kinds of creative ways to reuse plastic
carrier bags - even for making the 'ribbon' cut by the deputy
mayor at the opening."
Chris Pycroft, development manager for the Douglas
Development Partnership said: "Garey Glass has brought
added interest and a new sense of community to the sunken gardens
which are magnificently maintained by the council's parks section.
"The mosaics will bring colour to the garden
during the months when the flowers have died down while the
LED lighting gives life to the space at night so this is very
much a garden for all seasons and all hours."
The project has been funded by the environmental
charity Groundwork which uses the profits of the Marks and Spencer
carrier bag charge and Douglas Borough Council and the Douglas
TE-21 EXHIBITING GROUP LAUNCHED
TE-21 (Tessellated Expression for the 21st century),
a new exhibiting group, was launched in Chartres, France, on
25 October 2008 by four mosaic artists, each internationally
recognised. They were Elaine M. Goodwin (England), Dugald MacInnes
(Scotland), Lucio Orsoni (Italy) and Toyoharu Kii (Japan).
The launch took place under the aegis of the Association
Les 3R, which organises the biennial Rencontres Internationales
de la Mosaique in Chartres.
Lucio Orsoni of Orsoni Mosaics fame spoke animatedly
of proposals for future exhibitions. Dates have yet to be arranged
but watch this space!
To learn more about TE-21 see our News
Item on the launch of the group.
This outstanding collection of decorative art is
one of the most important bequests ever made to the British nation.
It was the gift of Sir Arthur Gilbert, who was born in London and
settled in California in 1949. The collection was originally displayed
in Los Angeles but then found a home for some years in the palace
of Somerset House, on the north bank of the Thames by Waterloo Bridge.
This magnificent building used to be the home of the Inland Revenue,
but happily the taxman made way, first for the Courtauld Collection,
and then for this magnificent addition, Sir Arthur's collection
of European silver, gold snuff boxes, furniture, clocks, miniatures
- and Italian mosaics. These treasures are now to be seen at the
The mosaics are of two kinds; Florentine "pietra dura"
(opus sectile miniature pictures made of plain and polychrome marble
and semi-precious stones) and micro-mosaics. These evolved in Rome
in the late 18th century as souvenirs for rich tourists making the
Grand Tour. The glass threads of which they are made are so small
as to be barely visible as individual tesserae.
To see more about Sir Arthur Gilbert, his life and the
collection go to our Gilbert
Collection article on the feature pages.