Peace Tiles Mosaics: Creating Coherence from Multiple Meanings

Mural Mosaic - Cochrane, Alberta[Crossposted from] A few days ago my father introduced me to a mural process employed by the Canadian arts group NOA Productions, which has developed what they call “Mural Mosaics.”  They just completed their most recent project for the Town of Cochrane, which engaged nearly 200 area artists in the creation of as many individual paintings, each 12-inches square. When combined, these many paintings composed a single, coherent image – or “mosaic” – which was permanently installed at the Cochrane Ranch House in Alberta, formerly a center for the preservation of Canada’s Western culture.

In addition to the striking coherence of a “Moral Mosaic,” I was struck by the relatively few number of works needed to produce the mural – which is 12 tiles up by 18 tiles across (216).  In my experiments – and in most that I’ve seen online – upwards of 400 works of art – typically a photograph – have been needed to compose a single larger work – the primary reason being, as far as I can tell, that a great variety of color and density is needed to achieve a suitable “palette” – or range – that can be combined into an image.  I have written to NOA Productions to get more details about how they have approached this work, for example whether artists are asked to work within certain boundaries (eg limit their palette to certain colors).

This technique naturally got me thinking about the possibility of composing similar “mosaics” from the growing number of Peace Tiles being produced around the world.  I am thinking that there are at least two benefits to this kind of curatorial process…

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