In April 2004 I was invited to submit a proposal for a large mosaic,
to be situated outside, and depicting the history of Newbury in West
Berkshire and involving as many of the townspeople as would like to
take part. In May, my proposal was selected from the shortlist and I
began the research part of the process.
This was an ambitious project with a tight timescale of only one year.
However, outside of the brief, I was given a great deal of latitude
in terms of content.
In a sense, this was quite difficult, as, relatively speaking, not
much has been written about Newbury, so in addition to published sources
I had to rely on independent websites, verbal information, interviews
and so on. I elected to start at the Domesday book in which the area
that Newbury is situated is mentioned in an official document for the
For technique, I planned to use Venetian glass, an ancient material
used in many of the great mosaics in Italy. As a community project that
would involve 'non-artists', I also had to devise a method where others
could take part, but to retain the bulk of decision making process for
myself. This was achieved through an industrial computer controlled
milling and machining process, which fixed the drawing elements and
composition. I am eternally grateful to Delcam UK for their assistance
in this process.
I would also like to thank Vodafone and Greenham Common Trust for contributing
substantial funds; to some 4000 people, young and old, who participated
in the building phase and financed the project through their own generous
donations; thanks to Jonny Diorio, my erstwhile assistant and sidekick
without whom it would never have been finished on time; and lastly and
perhaps most importantly, none of this would have been possible without
the vision, foresight and hard work of Mike Rodger, Mayor or Newbury,
Click on the panels to see a larger version and an explanation.
After you have started, you can click the refresh button on your browser
to see this text again.
Back to top