Rachel Sager "Geographika Lafayette" mosaic

Artist Statement

We live in a world of intense and bombarding stimuli, and for me, this creates a sense of being unmoored from myself.

I liken the feeling to spending too much time at The Mall in the 1980s. I remember distinctly, the dizzying effect it had on my sensibilities.

I have discovered, with my particular approach to the medium of mosaic, a tool to bring me down to earth, both literally and figuratively.

My artistic process includes large chunks of time spent sifting through the earth itself, gathering material. I am specifically dependent on my native Southwestern Pennsylvania geology, so when viewing the details of my work you will see sandstone, limestone, slate, shale, and even coal. Using a rock hammer, I chop larger rock into smaller rock, and then still smaller rock, until I have piles of tiny tesserae that are the building blocks of mosaic. There is a meditative, soothing effect to this repetitive work. In addition to my local stone, I also incorporate native wood and recycled metal into my compositions.

I believe in the Power of Place and its ability to shape a person. My roots are in Appalachia and my hometown is Pittsburgh. These special places have stamped their mark on me and, through my art, I enthusiastically shout from the rooftops, “look at this imperfectly beautiful corner of the world!”

The images that I construct, spring from the deep well of human experience. Mythology, storytelling, the magic of the archetype, unknown lands…these concepts, and the questions and answers that they hold, keep finding their way into my art. I believe we are all on a path, searching for enlightenment, comfort, love … I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a tool to tap into my journey towards being a better human every day. The images that pop up for me are a source of both surprise and recognition and they never fail to astonish me. I liken the feeling to nothing less than falling in love…the butterflies, the racing heart, the unease, and often, the wrenching heartache. I will take that over Facebook any day of the week.

I believe the key to truthful Art lies in the ability to combine this illumination of the spirit with a dogged commitment to technique and time spent in studio. I respect the history of my medium while relishing my small part in pushing its boundaries into the future.

RES ~ 2010

Rachel Sager, mosaic artist