Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Fleeting Glimpse of Heaven


Exclusively for Saturated Space Eleanor Jolliffe unearths the shimmering delights of the material, technical, historical, and experiential story of Byzantine architectural mosaics.

"The golden mosaics of Byzantine churches hold a particular allure to tourist and pilgrim alike. These timeless representations of the divine have fascinated viewers for centuries. This paper considers the manufacture, use and experience of the glass tiles, or tesserae, used in these mosaics- specifically gold tesserae.
Gold tesserae were used in ecclesiastical mosaics specifically as a representation of divine light, and, in collaboration with architectural form and curated lighting were crafted to inspire spiritual experiences. A modern viewing of these mosaics is vastly different to a Byzantine viewing and this paper also explores these differences, and the question of whether tesserae can still hold the same meaning and significance in the present day."