Coming to the City

British Mosaic of the Year Award 2012 - British Association of Modern Mosaic (BAMM)
International Sponsorship Award 2012 - Business Day BASA Awards

The idea of site-specificity is fundamental to both the concept and execution of Coming to the City. Clive van den Berg carefully analysed the characteristics of the London site. This included an investigation of the history and culture of King’s Cross as a central railway terminus opened in 1852. The experiences of the many thousands of people from different countries that have journeyed to London seemed to the artist to be inscribed in the architecture of the site. Their own personal histories and digitally aided communications with their home countries are translated through van den Berg’s use of map imagery and binary code (10101010). Created in sections through a combination of direct mosaic and custom-made ceramic elements, Coming to the City was shipped abroad and re-built panel-by-panel by a team of the world’s leading experts in mosaic. Click here to visit the official showcase of this artwork, which allows you to examine the piece in detail.

“The successful delivery of a large-scale mosaic like Coming to the City relies on the artist team to marry their individual mosaic application styles to ensure the artwork communicates one artistic language.  Although ten mosaic artists have contributed to the execution of the mosaic, the completed piece conveys a seamless application.”

- Irene Rizzin (Head Teacher at the Spier Arts Academy)

Clive van den Berg elaborates on his experience of the mosaic process:

“[Making a mosaic]… is a process of interpretation and it requires great skill as decisions have to be made innumerable times over many months….
In the wrong hands this process of translation could be a disaster. One hopes for a faithful interpretation, a bit like scaling something up and getting the images and colours right. But in this case the result exceeded my intention. The process of making the mosaic added to the concept, rather like a great singer interpreting a song as opposed to one who just sings the notes.”

- Clive van den Berg

Clive van den Berg is an artist, curator, designer and writer, who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. His art has been shown around the world and has also earned him several major prizes, including, internationally, a Civitella Ranieri fellowship and the Michelin International Art Competition.


Artist: Clive van den Berg

Date: 2011

Location: Nando's Kings Cross, London


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