Maylee Christie: what was your initial training (your studies) and how you came to the mosaic? How important was the experience in Italy and with maestro Marco Bravura in particular?
I think my love for mosaics started when I was a toddler, playing in my Italian grandma’s courtyard, in Argentina. There she had the most beautiful wisteria, whose lilac drooping flowers had the most exquisite perfume and under whose shade, flowers with bright colours were dotted here and there, overflowing from planters covered in mosaics.
I was born in a small town called Miraflores, in Peru. But it was such a long time ago, (ha, ha) that I can’t remember much of it. I’ve studied fine art in Argentina and then studied graphic design. Then moved to Spain in my early twenties and worked as an illustrator and translator of children’s books. After some time studying veterinary in Madrid and sculpture in Winchester, I went on holidays to Barcelona, where I discovered Antoni Gaudí’s work at Parque Guell, Casa Milo, Casa Batlo and Lluis Domenech’s Palaude la musica catalana. I became absolutely fascinated by the fantastic mosaics and specially Gaudí’s organic and sensual architecture. I then signed up for a course with Orsoni in Venice and was completely and utterly hooked! After that came a course with Luciana Notturni in Ravenna where I learnt the basics of mosaics and heard about Marco Bravura’s work. I helped Marco to make a mosaic for a week and then came back toRavennafor another week to help him on another mosaic. Marco is a very generous person, we had lots of fun at his studio and the few days that I’ve spent with him, certainly marked a pivotal moment in my work.
Yours is a very sculptural mosaic: you love the curved lines and it seems to me that there is always a connection with nature. Could you talk about your way of making art with mosaic?
Indeed, I love nature. My work usually starts with a sight, a dream or a feeling: I become fascinated by something beautiful and I try, in a way, to create something that invites the viewer to caress it, to feel it, to experience and share its beauty with me, to linger the eyes on its forms and the forms within them, in a sort of sensual, joyful, playful dance. My work comes from a very happy heart.
If you can say them, what are your future artistic projects? And you’ll work again with children?
I enjoy community works because I love the connection with people. I love it when they become excited by the project I propose, the joy it brings them, the sense of pride and achievement that children -especially- get from it. I would love it if my work could make a difference in someone’s life. There’s a new project coming up where I plan to change a school for children with emotional difficulties. I want to create a place for them which will hopefully, brighten their days. A mosaic that will transform their dull, grey school into a happy place, full of bright colours, where they’ll be happy to come to every morning.
The sculptures, though, are the joy I give to myself, my own very special time that I share with people once they are finished. I’m working on something green, curved and sensual, which is lots of fun, too. But I like to keep it a bit of a surprise until it’s finished, a bit like that magical feeling that strikes you when beauty deeply moves you, caressing your soul.
Web site: www.mayleechristie.com