For ten weeks in the summer of 2022, England’s Winchester and Southampton’s public spaces were brought to life in the Hares of Hampshire exhibition. Each sculpture was individually designed. 35 sculptures were auctioned at the end of September, with Emma Abel’s Lepus Roman Hare achieving a top bid of £8,500, which will be donated to Southampton Children’s Hospital.
“I chose a Roman theme because Winchester was the 5th largest Roman town in Britain during their occupation, and hares were sacred to the Romans as a symbol of eternal life,” says Emma. “Using unglazed tiles in typical Roman colours, it features the guilloche (braided) and wave band Roman motifs amongst others.”
The event was organised by Wild in Art and the Murray Parish Trust. Since 2008, Wild in Art has held public art events in cities across the world, which have enabled more than £19.5 million to be raised for charitable causes through auctions.
Emma (pictured below) specialises in creating mosaics of endangered wildlife, to raise awareness of species threatened by deforestation, poaching, war and disease.
Enjoy these technical tips from Emma on mosaicking a sculpture like her hare:
- Put the sculpture on a turntable trolley or dolly, so you can turn it for awkward areas.
- The fibreglass sculpture should be lightly sanded initially.
- Choose the appropriate adhesive depending on whether the sculpture will be external or internal.
- Tiles need to be cut smaller to accommodate the curve.
- Draw the design out on the sculpture before you start, especially around curves to get the correct spacing/angles before you lay tiles.
- If using unglazed cinca tiles, apply sealant on completion.
- Apply anti-graffiti varnish (two coats) if the mosaic is installed in a public place. This also enhances the colour of cinca tiles.
- Good luck!