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Black Country artist turning her home into one big mosaic - with pictures and video

By Jamie Brassington | Smethwick | Sandwell entertainment | Published:

She is an acclaimed artist whose intricate mosaics featured alongside some of the world’s best sculptors.

Artist Caroline Jariwala has used lockdown to turn her own house into a work of art, followed by hundreds online

Now Black Country-based artist Caroline Jariwala is slowly turning the inside of her Bearwood home into one giant art gallery.

Piece by piece, the 55-year-old is assembling large mosaics on the landing outside her bathroom and the stairway.

One mosaic depicts a mandala symbol - a geometric pattern which is typically associated with cosmology and the universe.

Another is a large peacock which bears long, cream-coloured tails and bright blue tips.

Caroline Jariwala

It is fair to say she is mosaic mad.

“Oh man, I love everything about mosaics, I am obsessed with it,” she said.

“It is the only thing I have done where I haven’t stopped learning. I love the fact people can look at a piece of crockery on my mosaic and go ‘oh my God, I remember that when I was young’.

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“I have taught dementia patients in hospitals and they love it because they really connect and remember that from years ago.

“When I used to paint, people used to appreciate it. But paintings can be a bit arty-farty.

“With mosaics, it is not the case at all. People appreciate it because it is textiles. You can touch it. It hasn’t got any airs and graces about it.

“You are still using your same creativity as painting. For me personally, this does communicate with people.”

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Watch: Caroline charts her latest project online

Mandala Mosaic Project: Part 13 Installation of the Third Wall Section Saturday 25 July 2020

The mosaics at her home are made from crockery and ceramics.

Each piece is cut by hand. Such large-scale pieces may seem time consuming.

Indeed, the mandala piece spans six foot by three on the ceiling, while the peacock spans eight foot by eight foot.

But Ms Jariwala says the process is therapeutic.

“I find it so calming. And do you know what? Anyone that comes to my workshop always says it is so therapeutic.”

She continued: “It is really my own work of art. I’m not literally covering everything.

“I’m just using certain areas that I think could do with a bit of beautifying, areas that could do with more light - basically my staircase and landing.

“I’m just about to put another one opposite the bathroom. It is small areas that need a ‘wow factor’.”

It has been especially therapeutic amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, Ms Jariwala believes she caught Covid-19, although no tests have medically proved this.

The mosaic design for the ceiling

Like many artists - and businesses in general - the pandemic has affected her trade.

She makes money off commissions and workshops through her company Mango Mosaics.

However she has utilised her social media following - having amassed thousands across different platforms - to launch workshops on YouTube.

In 2017, she took part in the prestigious International Festival of Glass event in Stourbridge, glass sculptors from around the world exhibited their work.

There, Ms Jariwala led a mosaic-making workshop in glass.

She used to be a painter but switched to mosaic making in the 1990s.

Caroline Jariwala

Incredibly, examiners only gave her a lowly E grade at college in her art course.

However, that did not stop her from her passion of being an artist.

She said: “It doesn’t matter what grade you got. As long as you have got the confidence and drive, you will succeed.”

Her story - of becoming a successful artist despite the E grade - was featured in a short documentary in 2018, by an organisation called Creative Black Country, and that has amassed more than nine million views.

To keep up to date with her work, follow Mango Mosaics on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or visit mangomosaics.co.uk

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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