What comes to your mind when you hear mosaic? Was the theme for a call for videos by ICCM (International Committee on the Conservation of Mosaics) in January 2017. It inspired me to use the material, photos and quotes from participants of the refugee community mosaic project back in 2015 to make a short video about the project.
In April my suggestion for the video was selected. In June 2017, one month before the deadline to submit the film, endless hours being drawn into the project that became live again on my computer screen passed making the film. I received great help from friends editing text, speaking the quotes in arabic, organizing the agreement of the participants to show their pictures.
When I got the audio file with a music from Shalan Alhamwy that originally was not composed for the film and putting it into the program it immediately fitted the scenes on the images. As if the music was composed especially for this video. This was amazing.
In August to my surprise the video got selected to be shown at the conference in Barcelona amongst 15 videos about mosaic heritage conservation. This was the decisive moment for me to by my ticket to Barcelona to take part in the conference on mosaic heritage preservation. (13th ICCM conference Barcelona 2017)
A lot of positive comments from the 250 participants from 35 countries reached me during this week 15-20. Oct 2017.
At the end of the conference the video was recognized with the “coup de coeur” prize.
Seeing the film on a big screen in the auditorium was amazing. Have a look yourself!
What comes in mind when you think of mosaics in Barcelona? Certainly Antonio Gaudi. But I was surprised when during the 13th ICCM conference we were shown the gems of mosaic conservation in Catalonia and there was NO Gaudi amongst them!
Let me take you to these places:
This is the Recinte Modernista Sant Pau. Build between 1902 and 1930 it became UNESCO World Heritage in 1997. This is a mosaic on a facade depicting one of the patrons of the hospital Sant Damia.
The architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (1850-1923) was one of the outstanding figures of Catalan Art Nouveau (Modernisme). For the decorations of the buildings mosaics were used everywhere using floral motives to bring nature into the buildings and to the hospital beds.
Another gem of art nouveau buildings richly decorated with mosaic and also stained glass works is the Palau da Musica.
The Palau de la Música Catalana was built between 1905 and 1908 also by the modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a home for the choral society Orfeó Català. Most impressive is the row of columns richly decorated with floral motives on the balcony of the intermission room.
On my final day in Barcelona I visited Park Güell Gaudi’s unfinished work of a whole new garden city. The mosaics in the park are famous because of the trencadís technique that Gaudi rivived. Being under reconstruction I did not go into the area with his famous mosaic works but rather enjoyed the marvelous views from the park onto the city.
Coming back to the ICCM conference that brought me to Barcelona, I just received a thank you letter from the president of the Foundation – Roberto Nardi – stating:
“we had a full 255 participants, while contributors from 35 countries shared their work through 48 paper presentations, 59 posters and 15 videos. Each of these overall achievements represents many communal and personal successes. The sessions dedicated to modern mosaics were received well and succeeded in our goal to expose our members to new materials, techniques and technologies”
I congratulate the organizers in Barcelona in having chosen the best place to get exposed to modern mosaics.
Video as a technique for documentation of projects was also one of the new features of this conference. Wait for my next blog to see my involvement in this!
Every three years they are organizing a conference where specialists in mosaic conservation and policy makers in cultural heritage from all countries with a roman mosaic history are coming together to exchange their knowledge and expertise.
This year it was the 40st anniversary of the organization. They achieved that the whole field now is working after certain standards in the conservation of ancient mosaics, that the group of conservators know of each other and can exchange experiences and that knowledge in the field was passed on and further developed in North African and middle eastern countries.
In terms of numbers this Barcelona Conference clearly ranks well: with 255 participants, while contributors from 35 countries shared their work through 48 paper presentations, 59 posters and 15 videos. Each of these overall achievements represents many communal and personal successes. The sessions dedicated to modern mosaics were received well and succeeded in our goal to expose our members to new materials, techniques and technologies.
….. like mosaics from the period of art nouveau,
What better place for the conference could they have chosen than Barcelona with its rich heritage not only in art nouveau mosaics but also in cement tile pavements.
I also met Professor Selcuk Sener again, which I know from Ankara, Gazi University, talking about the technical details of the removal of 2 glass mosaic murals from the 1950s from a wall in a building in Ankara into storage.
Even terrazzo floors from the first half of the 20st century in Italy, Greece and even India were considered as mosaic floors having to be taken care of by conservation specialists.
The conference was meticulously organized by the City of Barcelona, Archeological Service. Every day of the 5 day conference we were taken to one of their gems of mosaic conservation. You can read about this in my next blog!