Aboriginal Art Mosaic Shower
West Hartford, Connecticut
The client Sara Knight standing in front of a Wandjina, a generic term for a group of ancestral beings in the Kimberley area who the Aboriginal people believed controlled the elements, bringing rains to the land and fertility to the people. Wandjina would be described as mahi-mahi, which means special, pure and sacred among the spirit beings of folklore. The radiating lines indicate lightning, which the Wandjina controls.
Designer, Mosaic Artist and Installer: Cathleen Newsham
Mosaic Artists: Beth Klingher, Richard Youngstrom, John Mansfield
Mosaic Installers: John Pope, John Mansfield
Client: Sara Knight
Contractor: Patriot Builders
Sara Knight, a private homeowner and world traveler living in West Hartford Connecticut, contacted Modern Mosaic Arts in 2020 about creating a shower mosaic inspired by her travels in the Kimberly region of western Australia. She and her husband spent many years exploring caves in the region that were adorned with Aboriginal paintings (or petroglyphs) that were thousands of years old. After reading and studying Sara’s books on the subject, Cathleen began designing her modern and colorful take on the 4,000 year old drawings. The final product is a masterful mosaic that brings history and art to life. To see the rock art inspiration for the mosaics visit Rock Art Australia’s website.
The Design Process
The process began by taking measurements and photos of the existing shower, which had not been renovated since the 1970’s. Seeing the possibilites to tie the mosaic shower in with other architectural elements in the bathroom, an custom made window cornice and built-in medicine cabinet were the perfect design elements.
With client supplied books and printed art, Cathleen also began extensive research online and found a weatlth of information about Aboriginal art including a website that explains the meaning of the rock art symbols and ghostly figures.
Designing the Mosaic
Taking ideas from several different caves and experiementing with placement of the various design elements, Cathleen quickly determined that she needed to add more color and pattern to the overall design.