CHEK Upside: Sooke mosaic artist gaining attention south of the border

CHEK Upside: Sooke mosaic artist gaining attention south of the border
WatchDarren Mavis is the only Canadian featured in an online mosaic exhibit with artists from around the world.

In a small converted garage in Sooke, local artist Darren Mavis creates his art. Mavis makes mosaics, from small works to full-sized masterpieces.

“I have a little relationship with every piece of material that goes into my work,  Often a client will come to me with a picture or an image, which I will draw and we’ll figure out the design, and then materials are chosen. I like to work with ceramic tile, um it works! It’s normal floor tile that you would by for you’re floor,” said Mavis.

His latest work caught the attention of the Bandon Library Art Gallery in Oregon.

Each year the gallery has a show dedicated to mosaics, but due to COVID-19, it had to go virtual. Mavis is the only Canadian whose work was chosen for the exhibit. His king, queen and joker card pieces caught the attention of gallery curator Tracy Hodson.

“What I look for is obviously well-executed pieces. They were beautifully done. All of these materials are not plastic, they’re very hard. You have to smash them apart, you have to cut them. it’s difficult,” says Hodson.

While the recognition might be nice, the creative process is what Darren really loves.

” I like the rudimentary aspect of mosaics. I don’t have a lot of machinery, and I cut a lot of my stuff by hand, which you can cut with nippers. Each piece ends up being hands-on in one form or another, either cutting it, shaping it. It seems tedious and arduous and that’s because it is,” says Mavis.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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