In April I posted a wee note on Facebook (and here on the blog!), asking people if they would be so kind as to donate any sea glass or ceramic that they found on the shoreline to my wee wall project, by dropping pieces into the wee green pot at my front door in Fittie. I could not have predicted what happened next! I was totally overwhelmed with the response, hundreds of people donated thousands of beautiful pieces of sea glass and ceramic to the project; from families on a day out at Aberdeen beach, who had picked up a few choice bits and bobs, to a lady who had been collecting for 25 years, who donated her entire world wide collected hoard - it was absolutely fantastic. So, at the beginning of July I decided that we had enough collected material to do the project, and again, on Facebook, announced "Fittie Mosaic Week," which would take place on the last week of July, with people being invited to come place a few pieces between 12 and 4 each day.
In preparation, I painted the wall with a design which I felt was both appropriate to the area, but would also raise a wee smile and capture everyone's imagination - a beautiful mermaid with a wee viking boat alongside, a wee nod to my own Viking Heritage.
A few local children came along early on Day 1 to help me sort out the glass from the ceramic, and then at 12, the mosaicing began.
The first pieces were placed by two lovely Swiss visitors I had staying with me; the week continued in an international way with visitors from all over the world contributing, including folk from the USA, Peru, Mexico, India, China and all over Europe. Of course many enthusiastic Fittie Folk helped too ( they got to do the mermaid herself!) and many Aberdeen locals, of all ages, also made the trip to place their pieces, many saying they wanted to play their part in this part of Fittie history!
By Friday the mosaicing was complete and then it was over to me to grout and seal the mosaic, to protect it from the elements.
I LOVED doing this project - from being happy in the knowledge that I was bringing people together, and encouraging them to engage more fully with their environment with collecting the materials from the beach, to experiencing all the lovely moments of interaction between the general public during Mosaic Week. It was such a happy week; here's so much negativity in the world, I am so content that my role as an artist can provide people with such positive experiences. Now the mosaic is finished people continue to interact with it; at least daily I see people stop, smile, and take photographs, it's such a wonderful feeling to know that this will continue for generations to come.