Helen Bodycomb and Lillian Sizemore - BAMM Forum 2020

Helen Bodycomb and Lillian Sizemore



Helen and Lillian draw upon their 50 years of combined experience as mosaic makers, thinkers, and researchers to create a lively back-and-forth visual presentation. Using their own practice-led research against Helen's study of contemporary art theory, and Lillian's findings on the mid-twentieth century mosaic movement, both artists challenge ideas around materiality, mosaic as enduring and permanent, and discuss how time and change can be seen as partners in the mosaic-making process. There is no better time to question and reframe our relationship to the material world around us—especially those things we choose to make—than during the shared existential crisis of a global pandemic.


Helen Bodycomb is well known as one of Australia’s few contemporary artists working primarily in mosaic. She is widely professionally active; exhibiting, fulfilling commissions, guest teaching and presenting her work in conference presentations, nationally and internationally. Helen has been pivotal to re-defining mosaic as an art form in Australia, having initially trained as painter (Victoria College, 1988-1990 and Monash University, 1993-94), also working under Maestro Giulio Candussio in Spilimbergo, Italy in 2001. She has practiced full-time as a mosaic artist working predominantly in stone and glass for more than 25 years. Helen also applies mosaic methodologies to more experimental artworks exploring ephemera and biodegradability, and conceptual modes she calls ‘thinking in mosaic’.

In August 2019 Helen completed her practice-led PhD in Visual Art with La Trobe University, Australia, her research project investigating Mosaic: classical principles and the act of making in contemporary works. This research sought to clarify and defend traditional mosaic conventions and assert how thinking in mosaic can augment wider contemporary art practice. Helen’s practice spans three predominant streams: experimental fine art, community art/commissions and education – through annual art retreats / mosaic study tours.


Lillian Sizemore is widely recognized in the field as a ‘mosaic detective.’ Sizemore uncovers the legacies of twentieth-century mosaic in the modern built environment. Sizemore holds degrees in Fine Art and Italian from Indiana University, studied History of Art and Italian at the University of Bologna, Italy, and over the past 25 years studied mosaic techniques with maestri from around the world. From 2013-2016 Lillian participated in the Post Graduate Research Programme at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts in London, with a focus on Gino Severini’s mosaic pedagogy. Her research includes unique findings on the Roman Lod Mosaic from Israel, restoring the 1956 feature film, The World of Mosaic, and tracing the origins of Picasso’s little known midcentury mosaic works.

Sizemore’s essays have been published in RawVision, Andamento, Society for Commercial Archaeology, Mosaïque, and Mosaic Art NOW. Lillian works in collage, watercolor, and sculptural works using traditional mosaic methods to create dynamic surfaces designed for intimate observation and deep reflection. She is a visiting instructor with the ‘Piece by Piece’ mosaic programme in Los Angeles since 2009 and manages the George Ehling Mosaic House Facebook Page. She is currently compiling a Catalogue Raisonné for Marjorie Kreilick, a 95-year-old American mosaicist, who trained in Rome. Lillian resides in Madison, Wisconsin USA. lilliansizemore.com