Artist Watch: Wendy Tanner

Meet Wendy Tanner (flickr ID the same). I was attracted to Wendy immediately for three reasons: she has cool mosaics, she’s Australian and she travels… alot! Her travels have taken her to parts of the World that I long to see… Afghanistan being one that comes to mind. What I also love is that she photographs mosaic everywhere she goes. Kinda like me I s’pose… She also just has the passion and feels the need to record it all. For someone like myself, it’s very exciting!!! You must go check out her photos. Incredibly interesting…

Wendy’s creative career began with stained glass, but the dilemma of all those off-cuts of glass led her into mosaics. (Like all good mosaicists …. she never throws ANYTHING away!!) Her first mosaic course was with Christine Stewart, an acclaimed artist who lives locally in Wendy’s area of Northern NSW, Australia. A phenomenally beautiful part of the country I might add…

Overseas travel opened her eyes to mosaics using so many other kinds of materials. She saw the magnificent mosaics on St Marks Basilica in Venice and was also lucky enough to stumble upon the Orsoni Factory. She was thoroughly enchanted by Gaudi’s mosaics in Barcelona and the pebble mosaics in the Alhambra in Granada.

In November 2004, Wendy attended the International Association of Contemporary Mosaics biennial conference in Melbourne …and was inspired by so many wonderful mosaic artists from all over the world. Since then she has attended several other workshops with Australian glass and mosaic artists.

Wendy works with many different materials – and especially likes to use recycled or found objects. Her preference lies in making functional objects like tables and mirrors, but she is also exploring decorative and artistic mosaics, and 3D sculptural forms.

Wendy has taught several mosaic classes through the local Adult Education Centre, and has also taught several workshops with school children and teachers at three local schools. They created large scale murals, which brighten up the school grounds considerably. She loves the fact that anyone can make mosaics – no matter their age or ability.

Wendy reveals “My workshop is a total disaster. Since doing a course making a 3D mosaic mirror with Sandy Robertson of Brisbane, I can’t stop collecting crockery etc… My latest experiments are using broken Polish blown glass, which my neighbours import. (They import it whole, of course, but there are breakages along the way…oh…what a pity!!). I am firing little pieces in my newly acquired second hand kiln – and love it!! I love the internet too – the way so many mosaic artists share their art and knowledge through blogs and groups, and flickr. If I wanted to, I could spend all my time on my computer and never get any time to do my mosaics!!”

You can find Wendy’s online space here and more of her mosaics on her Flickr site. Her work has, more recently, been selected for the new mosaic magazine, Mosaic Art Now and is currently on exhibition at the Nexus Gallery.

Here are some pics of the artiste in question ( couldn’t choose just one cos I LOVE all of them!!!). Look at that school mural and all of her travels!!!

Wendy in Barcelona’s Parc Guell, a place that, like Wendy says, is “about as close as a mosaic artist can get to heaven.” No kidding!!!

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4 Comments

Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Australia, Building, Community Projects, Design Concepts, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Furnishings, Garden Mosaics, Kids, Kids' Projects, Mosaic, Murals, Nature, Round the World, Schools, Sculpture, Table, Uncategorized, Wendy Tanner

4 responses to “Artist Watch: Wendy Tanner

  1. Wendy, I’ve admired your work for a long time and definitely want to meet you when I’m home next. I try to keep track of what’s going on with mosaics at home too and today looked at your flickr sites of mosaics in Oz. I have one for you! Email me and I’ll send you some photographs of it as I can’t send them this way. It’s a lousy day here, I’m too tired to do mosaics and spending time on line looking at this stuff the next best thing!
    Homesick Ozzie in Canada. Heather Vollans

  2. I have admired your work for awhile, Wendy, and I just read the snake story. OMG! What a great story! And those photos of him on the bench and in your box of mugs! You’ve made a pal 🙂 I also really enjoy your school mosaics. I’m venturing into that realm soon, too, I hope! Christine

  3. Thanks Kim, you have made me look quite a professional, which I really am NOT …… but I do confess to being a mosaic addict, which we both are.
    If anyone is intersted in seeing the full story of the “Snake and the Mosaic” (see picture above) it can be found at: http://wentan.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/tale-of-a-snake-and-a-mosaic/
    It was quite an amazing series of events …read about it…
    cheers Wendy

  4. Ed

    Very inspiring work, I like the dinosaur, the frog of course, and the snake the most. I would love to start working in mosaic, my sister started doing some in her spare time and has unintentionally actually made a little money selling some of her work.

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