I make mosaics of colored mirror and thinly sliced stone using traditional techniques to display a
unique material. The works depend on the amount of ambient light and the environment in which
they are placed for their character. As the content of the foreground changes, so does the appearance of the mosaic. Its virtual image, the image you see in a mirror, changes accordingly. This allows me to pursue kinetic, moving images without resorting to mechanism. Each mosaic also
changes in appearance as the observer shifts position. This allows one to interact with the image, to create a whole new feeling in the work itself with only minor movement. And it allows the viewer
to dance with the work and find the vision that resonates.

The seed of all this germinated on a movie set in the south of France near Biarritz in the summer of 1973. The director asked if I would cover a shiny silver cigar box with mirror to make it brighter. I thought it might be hard to photograph and suggested a mosaic design on the top that would make
it easier to focus the camera. The result was a mosaic of several clear blue glasses inset among
pieces of mirror. As I walked out to the set with my creation, sun shone down through the blue
glass, bounced off the silver cigar box beneath and there before me were different shades of blue
mirror. Ah... epiphany.

Over time, the work has evolved from stained glass window designs to the more detailed work that
is possible when individual tessera are held in a cementenous matrix. The constraints of designing
for wind load and a backlit opening have given way to color experiments exploring what is visually
possible from the smallest silvered pieces. Now jewel-like accents are regularly worked into the designs. Sometimes they can be seen from across a room, while others are only apparent when
viewed close up. The inherent stability of mosaics has allowed the use of sinuous curves that would
not survive the flexing of a stained glass window. It is the movement toward fine detail and slender
shapes that has made it possible to execute ocean waves in small oval frames.

My discovery offered a chance to pursue a different artistic path. I had never seen colored mirror
before and the visual possibilities offered by this new palette began to flow immediately, gratifying
my need for the unique. I began with literal representations, a self portrait first, moved to design
and then back to nature. My themes take me outside to places far larger than myself, free of as
much contrivance as I can strip away. Current work involves a rebellion against the straight line.
There are few in nature. Frames have become curved. It is a process of reconnecting with the sunrises and sunsets that took my breath away and paying omage to whatever showed me that it is all alive, dog in the rock. Now after almost four decades in this my joy remains. I love what I do.

Toby Mason