• The Artists

Alphabet Graffiti

The next pattern in our textile tapestry was inspired by the 1990’s.  The 90’s was a period of significant technological advancement.  We saw the Hubble Space Telescope go out into space, the world wide web arrived, and computers became more mainstream.  Who remembers playing ‘Test Drive’ or ‘Mixed Up Mother Goose’ on their Commodore 64?  And let’s not forget those printers that were fed one continuous sheet of paper with the holes on the sides.  Classic. 

On TV, we were copying the hairstyles of Rachel from Friend’s, and rapping along with Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Children all over were taking exceptional care of their digital Tamagotchi pets and riding around on their rollerblades. Parents who had avoided eating in restaurants with their children celebrated the availability of the Nintendo Gameboy. 

Musically, this was the era that birthed grunge and hip hop and those genres of music really influenced the fashion trends of the time.  We were wearing slap bracelets (which by the way, I’m seeing a resurgence of), jelly shoes, and Doc Martens.   Tattoos and piercings were becoming more and more common. 

The Alphabet Graffiti design is much more along the hip-hop lines of fashion trends than grunge.  It is consistent with the trends of the early 1990’s than the grungy mid-1990’s or preppy and goth late 1990’s.  Think oversized jackets, baggy jeans and sneakers.  Think back, once again, to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. 

Mostly, we were drawn to the bright and cheerful colours of this textile pattern.  The turquoise, magenta, blue and yellow just go together in such a lovely way.  This design will stand on its own on the west wall of the building.  We chose a variety of glass tiles to fill this space and one of them was a very special (outdoor-friendly) mirrored tile in magenta.  We think it will be so lovely to be around when the sun is setting and reflecting off of those mirrored tiles.    

You’ve already seen a preview of this work in our previous posts about the workshops.  The design lends itself well to community participation as by nature it was segmented into several smaller sections.  Each community participant was able to have the satisfaction of completing their own shape(s), and differences in mosaic skills and styles were not important as there was not one consistent style needed.  Variety was our friend in this case, and we chose a more random “crazy paving” or “Opus Palladianum” andamento, characterized by randomly shaped tesserae.  This design was also a great design for packing up and taking sections home to work on, so we made a lot of progress very quickly on this large panel. 

Unfortunately, it’s not completed just yet as we had a setback and ran out of one of our tiles so we’re having it specially produced in a glass tile factory as we write this.  But here is an almost-completed image to enjoy in the meantime!  And of course, we’ll share updates when it’s finally complete.   

It is very exciting entering into the final stages of production as we near completion of our final two designs.  Stay tuned for info on our 1970’s circles design coming up next!