Mo's comment concerning her lack of success with mosaics sparked a desire to share a specific installation that's proven unforgettable. Along the way to locating the right pics I reconnected with these lovely examples of a community-wide effort creating mosaics that are marvelous to view up close and at length. You can read a great deal more about the Mosaic Murals Project at their informative and inspiring website.
Mosaics such as these are hung on the outside of buildings along the main streets of commerce and tourism within the charming town of Shelburne Falls. J. and I have been there three times in recent years. On the first occasion we found ourselves suddenly embroiled in a torrential rain, flash flooding and vivid forks of lightning striking too close for authentic comfort.
I kept narrating the various strikes I saw and how close they were hitting in relation to where we were driving. J. kept saying uh-huh and I'd think briefly how beautiful the winding mountain foothill roads would be if the sun was out. Then I'd get back to narrating in my most rational observationist's tone.
By the time we got to the town itself (our purpose was to visit the Bridge of Flowers) the Thunder Beings had moved on but the rain was still torrential. J. double parked long enough to dash to the bridge's edge and retrieve an official state pamphlet for me. It took over a year but we finally got back on a day when the sun was strong and our visit was thoroughly enjoyable.
[in the winter of '02 I traveled by car with the guys throughout northern Italy. T spent his junior year of high school in Viterbo and we visited him during his winter break. In Ravenna, on New Year's Day, we discovered we wouldn't be able to see the most famous mosaics there due to the timing of our stay but many other brilliant works were scattered everywhere. Mind-blowing stuff. At the time I had no camera or more accurately I had a rickety partially taped-together 70's instamatic. Nothing I attempted to capture of our long rainy walks past mosaics was captured successfully. But the memories!!]
Okay the head of the lovely creature above is definitely mosaic in the traditional sense but I'm not sure how to categorize the rest of it. Seems to be a combo of stonework and assemblage. J. and I first visited the Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen on the same day we went to Shelburne Falls. This truly unique, moving and spiritually elevated landscape of art, earth and healing is located in the glorious foothills of the Berkshire mountains. Even if what follows isn't technically mosaic, you can't just see the head and not the rest of this magnificent guardian from the universe of Heart and Healing. [it's worth it to click on the Sanctuary's link if only to see the above-ground view of the full installation.]
(this is the place where the Fairy House is located. The blissful transcending green goddess of another dimension in my sidebar is also located atop the enormous barn just adjacent to the sanctuary.)
This is the entire view of the dragon's body. Inside the long curling tail is a hoard of glittering and gleaming treasures tucked and scattered all about. Below are some other perspectives offering glimpses of detail. The tail's incredible construction is the stuff of dreams.
Note the plethora of vibrant sedums tucked here there and everywhere amongst the stones and glass and an endless array of miniature replications and gee gaws.
This past summer we visited with T. The creator of this and all that surrounds the space radiating from it was on hand as he usually is. He repeatedly offered to fire up the gigantic fire clicker tool that sends a loud whoosh of spouting swift flame from the dragon's mouth. We kept just missing it and then not wanting to bother him to do it again. But he happened to catch sight of our dismay and gamely gave the chimney underneath one last charge. I wanted to just watch with my eyes, no fussing over pictures. It was pretty freakin' cool.
On the other side of the dragon (from here you can clearly see the metal fire pit beneath the beast) is a marvelous terraced oval of both circular and sinuous walking paths dotted with many stone benches. Drumming circles meet here and in the image above you'll notice a cache of firewood and place to burn at the edge of the larger absolutely one of a kind Place within a Place. Will share plenty more images of the just-out-of-camera-range space - and beyond - as the solstice grows closer over on the main blog.