Mosaic tiles have been used as an art form for centuries, dating back to Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BC. Today, it has become a popular choice for street artists, with many fantastic designs all over the world. Art is subjective, however, street art allows almost anyone to create a personalized piece of art that speaks to us.
Mosaic tiles are not just a timeless choice of material for our homes and gardens, but a popular choice amongst many of Britain’s street artists. From north to south, our little Island is full of amazing artists each with their own story to tell. In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the best Mosaic tile art the UK has to offer!
By Eduardo Paolozzi
London Underground stations are well-renowned for having their own distinct designs and architecture. With 270 stations across the nation’s capital, the tube has a long association with art, dating back to the early 1900s. Over the years, many station designs have been renovated to restore their natural beauty. One, in particular, is Eduardo Paolozzi’s breathtaking series of mosaic murals in Tottenham Court Road Station.
Paolozzi is considered to be one of the founders of the pop art movement, and it’s no surprise his work is admired by many. Created in the 1980s, Palozzi’s mosaic tile art is a kaleidoscope of colour and unusualness. Among many things, his tile art includes colourful shapes and patterns, butterflies, musical instruments and intricate cogs.
Sadly for many years, Paolozzi’s mosaic murals were left neglected due to a lack of cleaning. There were also reports that some of the work had been lost due to building renovations in 2015. Thankfully, since then Paolozzi’s mosaics have been restored so that they can inspire future generations.
By Mark Kennedy
Decorated with culture, Manchester is a city home to many famous faces and institutions. What’s the best way to replicate this through art? With mosaic tiles, of course! These mosaic masterpieces by native manc Mark Kennedy, can be found at the side of Affleck’s palace in the city’s northern quarter.
The vibrant collection of mosaic street art includes paying homage to Manchester’s music scene of the ’80s & ’90s. One, in particular, includes the various brands born in Manchesters such as Kellogs, Vimto & Warburtons. Another showcases some of the beloved characters from TV’s Coronation Street.
What really sets these incredible displays apart is the vast array of coloured tiles, intricately pieced together. So if you’re ever in the Manchester area, they’re definitely worth visiting!
Mosaic tiles and Star Wars have a few things in common 1. They’re iconic & 2. They’re timeless! What was once a dull car park building, is now a canvas for a simple but instantly recognisable work of 8-bit style art.
Originally designed by Andy Rash, this piece was brought to life on a much bigger scale by French Street Artist Invader.
Renowned for creating vibrant 8-bit creations, Invader’s work is inspired by retro arcade games and characters. This mosaic tile art suggests a theme of good vs evil, with Luke Skywalker and Dart Vader, locked in a duel. Notice the clear use of mirrored tiles for Vader’s eyes and Luke’s belt-buckle for a metallic illusion.
Located on a multi-storey car park in Shoreditch, this piece showcases a fun and simple design, sure to brighten up the area.
Another series of mosaics from the London Underground – this time coming to us from Leytonstone Underground Station. The series of mosaics murals depict the scenes of the films and life of the legendary director, Alfred Hitchcock – who was born and raised in Leytonstone.
Created by the Greenwich Mural Workshop, these wonderful mosaics were to commemorate the 100 years since Hitchcock’s birth in 1899. Despite some pieces being finished in 1999, it wasn’t until 2001 that all 17 mosaics were completed, using over 80,000 tiles!
These beautiful glass-tile mosaics decorate the bustling corridors of the station. The mosaics showcase Hitchcock’s life as well as some of his many films such as Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window. Each Mosaic features a vibrant use of colour and delicate patterns to replicate Hitchcock’s masterpieces. A fitting tribute for an icon.
One thing is for sure, we’re living in a technological society. The idea of robots taking over the world may sound like the plot of a sci-fi horror movie, however, this mosaic tile art takes a humorous approach. Created by street artist Angus, this Bristol street mosaic shows a contrast of colours and characters.
There are a few familiar faces such as Star Wars R2-D2 & BB-8, EVE from Pixar’s WALL-E & even Bender from Futurama. Know for his humorous artwork, many of Angus’s pieces contain political and social messages.
Created as a series of artwork for Bristol’s Upwork festival, he also created mosaics for Maggie Simpson and characters from the Super Mario video game series. Like fellow street artist Invader, Angus uses pixel-style art for his mosaics, full of colour.
If you happen to find yourself in the vicinity of any of these fantastic mosaic tile artworks, be sure to check them out with your own eyes!