I arrived in Tunisia thinking it was going to be lovely and warm but to my surprise it was blinking chilly! I really should have checked the temperature properly before packing my shorts, t-shirts, vest tops and clothing best suited for the Caribbean and not for North Africa at this time of year.
My first stop was Tunis as I wanted to check out the mosaic ruins at Carthage which were amazing! Seeing these Roman and Byzantine mosaics up close and personal was mind blowing. The level of detail and the actual sizes of them was just incredible. See a few pics below and some of my international travel companions.
We spent a couple of days in Tunis and then got picked up to be taken to Sousse where we would commence our mosaic making.
I was already advised to start my 50 x 50cm mosaic in the UK due to the short amount of time we had in which to complete it. I chose an African adkinra symbol called "Mpatapo". Mpatapo represents the bond or knot that binds parties in a dispute to a peaceful, harmonious reconciliation. It is a symbol of peacemaking after strife.
The deadline was tight however it wasn't long before we were all well into the flow of our individual mosaics. It was so wonderful to see so many different types of mosaic, methods and styles from traditional stone work to contemporary glass and ceramic. Here are a few of my favourites below.
Towards the end of the week after we worked tirelessly for several hours a day we celebrated with a wonderful and thoughtful presentation with the Minister of Tourism, Mr Taoufik Gaied and some other dignitaries. We all received a certificate of completion, took loads of photos and my work was also one of those selected to be displayed in the National Office of Tourism in Tunisia. What a proud moment for me when I got told this.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this blog and the images I have shared.
Massive thanks and a well done goes out to the organiser and amazing mosaic artist Bady Essid Jaballah (seen here in the background) who worked around the clock to get this opportunity off the ground.
To conclude, my trip was fun and engaging. I got to meet and talk with many mosaic artists from countries such as Algeria, France, Germany, Italy and even Slovakia and Serbia. I have formed new friendships and hope to remain in contact with alot of the artists and learn from them.
Where will my next mosaic trip be? You will have to wait see ...