Prompted - an online exhibition of work by BAMM members



an online exhibition of work by BAMM members in response to “Prompts from the Pros”


10th October – 5th December 2020


This year, the annual BAMM Forum is going online. It will be a full weekend of activity, including lively presentations on the Saturday, workshops with a variety of hosts on the Sunday and a Private View event to launch our online exhibition “Prompted” on the Friday evening. BAMM warmly invites all members to submit their work for inclusion in the exhibition. 

During lock-down, professional mosaic artists provided us with a series of prompts on social media to encourage creativity. These “Prompts from the Pros” will now form the inspiration for our online exhibition. Submissions can be work created when the prompts were initially shared, or new work made in response to the prompts - we now have an extra prompt from Marian Shapiro, making a total of 6 to choose from.


You must be a current BAMM member to make a submission and you may enter a maximum of two pieces of work. The BAMM Exhibition committee will endeavour to include all work submitted, provided that the submission meets the specified requirements. BAMM reserves the right to exclude any work if, for example, the images submitted do not meet the required specification or if the volume of submissions exceeds the online gallery capacity.

Work must be your own original mosaic work that responds to one of the following prompts:

1. Make a Mosaic Virus – Helen Miles

‘No one will have failed to notice that the virus which is causing such devastation and destruction is a curiously beautiful thing. The hyper-magnified version - a soft ball symmetrically dotted with red barbs, like a deadly pin cushion - swirls behind the heads of newsreaders or appears in glossy format in the front of weekly magazines. Its exotic strangeness is fast becoming imprinted on our psyches so why not use it as an inspiration to make your own mosaic ‘virus’?
This is a chance to go off-piste, to use up long-forgotten tesserae ‘stashes’, experiment with colour and texture, or to simply play with the potential of mosaic materials.’

2. Go Small – Rachel Sager

‘Micro-mosaic is a great technique to get lost in amid lockdown, quarantine, distancing... whatever you choose to call your shutting in. With a few materials and tools, you can be diving into this most delicate of mediums and blocking out the babble.’

3. Only One Thing – Julie Sperling

‘Your challenge is to make a mosaic out of just one material. Why? To learn more about its personality, to discover new ways to work with it, to slow down and hone your skills by stripping away distraction, and to find ways to push your creativity by limiting your palette. Doesn’t matter what you use: one tile, one rock, one plastic fork...get creative!
For an added challenge use just one piece of a material (and use every, last scrap of it). This is one of my favourite exercises because it’s full of strategy and problem solving. Every time I do it, I discover mindfulness in my cutting and push my andamento a bit further.
As mosaic artists, the sky is the limit in terms of what we can use as tesserae. While that kind of selection can be thrilling and full of possibility, sometimes it’s helpful to focus in on just one material and really get to know it.’

4. Team up – Marian Shapiro

‘I find being committed to do something for someone else and not wanting to let them down is a good motivator, so how about a challenge where people find a partner, team up with them remotely and both work from the same inspiration, concept or picture.’ This challenge could work in one of two ways:
1. Both people work on a mosaic using the same inspiration.
2. Each person starts work on a piece and then you swap them part way through, letting your partner finish off the piece. This is an interesting way to work as it disrupts your usual flow and you have to respond to what is there.

5. Transitions – Kelley Knickerbocker

‘Transitions = a change from this to that. Response to the pandemic means going through some pretty stressful transitions (when will we travel and hug again?!) Most of those transitions are beyond our control but the transitions between materials in mosaic? We got this! So many ways to go...
1. The rag rug approach: Grab any leftover materials and ‘weave’ them together one after another in a continuous line, repeating occasionally for continuity.
2. The whole-in-one approach: Take one material and see how many ways you can transform it: order, size, shape, texture, activity (tipping)
3. The ‘cheat’ approach: Cut up a material with a built-in transition and let the pieces that contain both colours be starting points for andamento lines in those colours in corresponding materials.
4. The three musketeers approach: Choose a light, medium and dark material and work from one end of the value spectrum to the other. (Try transitioning in another way at the same time; size, texture, activity, spacing etc)
5. The fade-out approach: Start tight then slowly increase the space between tesserae and decrease the size of the tesserae for a tight-to-loose transition. (Try a concurrent transition such as light to dark, matte to shiny, smooth to rough, calm to active etc.)’

6. Monochrome – Marian Shapiro

‘Make a mosaic using just one colour.
Why?  By stripping one element from your process, it makes you focus on the others. Without colours to identify an object, you must focus on the form, the andamento, and the spaces in between the tesserae. For me, working within constraints challenges me to be inventive and find alternative ways of solving problems.
You can use shades and tints of that one colour, for example light blue, mid blue and dark, and any materials or mix of materials you like, but no other colours apart from your chosen one. My examples are mostly pale and neutral colours, and mostly abstract but yours don’t have to be. Try doing something realistic using a monochrome palette.’

Making a submission

Entries must be submitted via our Curatorspace page:

When you submit your image(s), you will be required to provide details about the work, e.g. title, materials, dimensions etc. We will also ask for your website address, social media and contact details. If you would welcome sales enquiries, please also provide the selling price for your work and a note of how potential buyers should contact you or mark it as NFS (not for sale). BAMM will not be involved in any sales of work from the exhibition and will not take any commission.

It is critical that the images you submit are of high quality and fully comply with the outlined criteria.

You must be a member of the British Association for Modern Mosaic to submit your work. If you are not a member and would like to take part, details of how to join are on the BAMM website:

The deadline for receiving submissions is midnight, Sunday 23rd August 2020.


The Exhibition

We are hoping to receive lots of submissions so that we can create an interesting and exciting exhibition to represent BAMM members from across all regions. The exhibition will be arranged in a series of gallery spaces, each displaying between 15 and 20 works, depending on the actual submissions received.

The professional artists who created the prompts for us are being invited to select works of outstanding merit from the exhibition. Certificates will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finalists and there will also be a People’s Choice award.