World by Bas Degroot, Winger, Ontario. Constructed in 1990 at 77 Division
Street (Market Square), 80' by 20'. This outstanding brick mosaic mural
is the Festival of Arts only non-painted mural. It contains almost 12,000
bricks of seven colours. The artist first completed a plan, which identified
the position and colour of every brick.
theme is reminiscent of Dvorak's 'New World Symphony,' and indeed that
is one of the possible interpretations of this mosaic. Nevertheless, my
main intention has been of a more spiritual nature. I attempted to visualize
our trek towards, and our expectation of, a real new world yet to come.
I hope the work will be functional and inspiring in many ways."
read my comments with regard to the mural for the library (see Canal Construction),
one can understand my feelings of satisfaction that this time I did not
have to climb a scaffolding myself. All bricks and parts of bricks are
natural and had been designed and planned beforehand. The final stage of
this mosaic was the work of bricklayers, who conscientiously laid and attached
every brick in its planned position. As far as I know, for now this work
is the only one of its kind in Canada."
Virtual Guide's Comments
is one of the more unusual murals, because of its somewhat nebulous message
and its unique medium. Degroot's omnipresent doves reinforce the notion
of hope implicit in the work. Planning the work brick by brick must have
been a monumental task and it speaks highly of Degroot's dedication to
the Artist: Bas Degroot, Winger, Ontario
Degroot was born in the Netherlands and arrived in Canada in March 1988.
He studied visual arts and futurism at university and as a private student.
He is known in Europe for his huge brick murals and glass mosaics. As well
as his large-scale outdoor art, Bas works on miniatures and has written
eight books and numerous articles, in Dutch mainly about futurism. He practices
art in a versatile way: teaching private, secondary and college students,
illustrating magazines and books, designing for stained glass and producing
monumental works of art for building structures and squares (in 25 Dutch
cities, also Welland, Niagara Falls and Waterloo).
has about 200 North American illustrations published in newspapers and
various magazines. He has created about 20 stained glass designs for the
Luxfer Studios in Concord, Ontario. Several of these have been executed
for churches around the province. His largest outdoor projects are mosaics
in brick relief, measuring up to 1,000 square metres. In Europe, he designed
his works in the studio and others did the actual construction.
Degroot is now committed to creating and developing authentic Christian
art in Canada. Current projects include designs for two Niagara churches
and a Christian school.
Festival of Arts gave him his first opportunity to tackle an exterior painted
mural, which will always commemorate his new beginning in a new country.
"It's my first Canadian work," he noted. "It's my start."