On Saturday 13th July we celebrated ten years since our Community Mosaic Project. At a special Shabbat service, the Project Manager, Sandra Webber, told the story of this project.
Sandra described how an extension to the building in 2008 resulted in a large blank wall in the reception area which was crying out for a piece of artwork. A community mosaic project was proposed and initiated.
A local artist was appointed as the design lead and ideas for the artwork were submitted by members of the community. Sandra explained how the artist made it clear that the design process was “not a democracy” but that the community’s ideas would be incorporated into the final design. Sandra showed us the original submission which was the inspiration for the Tree of Life in the mosaic:
She also showed some artwork from a GCSE art student, now a student at Berlin Art School, which inspired the inclusion of the Pomegranate and the Dove:
She explained how the four hands were templates of the hands of a child, a teenager, an adult and a Senior Citizen, representing four generations of our community:
She also explained how it was decided to incorporate the dates of the Hebrew and Secular year into the design:
The project ran from February to May 2009, involving over 120 members of the community – of all ages – who created the artwork in a series of workshops over the this time. The mosaic was formally unveiled by the then Mayor of Elmbridge.
Sandra explained why the mosaic is such an important part of Kingston Liberal Synagogue: “It’s made from hundreds of different pieces, each one different with its own characteristics – but when they’re put together it creates something really beautiful – just like our community”.