Lilian Broca and her new mosaic series:
Heroine of a Thousand Pieces: The Judith Mosaics
My interview with Lilian Broca took place at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver, surrounded by the seven large mosaic masterpieces which narrate the drama of Judith. In Lilian’s words “The dynamic interaction with light transforms the interplay of all elements of a glass mosaic into an extraordinary visual feast… The uniqueness of the medium and the method required to execute a work are the appealing characteristics of this art. ” Seeing these works of art is an extraordinary gift to the viewer. According to Lilian “I feel that as an artist it is my responsibility to create and promote humanistic values in our contemporary society. Throughout my career, I have deliberately used powerful women figures from mythology as symbolic figures and role models whose experiences shed light on today’s concerns, thereby becoming relevant to our contemporary society. In my last three series of art works, I have profiled three exceptionally wise and fearless legendary figures: Lilith, Esther and now Judith.”
Lilian explains that the Judith compositions are presented on white sketchbook pages with perforated tops, showing the transition from black-and-white pencil sketch to monochromatic two-dimensionality and finally to full colour. The sketchbook page itself becomes the unifying motif in The Judith Mosaics and represents the rejuvenation of an ancient story through its retelling. As we walk from one image to the next, Lilian narrates the story of Judith, her history and her determination to act in a time of crisis and war.
For Lilian “the Judith and Esther mosaics reveal personal interpretations of two ancient stories that bring forth ideas about women’s role in society, encouraging contemporary women to find inner strength reminding us that we all possess the potential of the assertive Esther and courage of the independent and daring Judith.”
The process of creating in drawings and paintings the Judith narrative; and then interpreting them as seven huge mosaic works is explained in detail in her book Heroine of a Thousand Pieces: The Judith Mosaics of Lilian Broca. The information on her websites and the documentary about her life and work reveal her devotion, dedication and creativity towards her heroines and her art:
It was a privilege to walk among these works of art with their creator, Lilian Broca. As I listened to her interpretation of the story and the message which the story conveys, her intense commitment to the telling of the tale and the transmission of their emotional and spiritual values, is clear and present in full force.