Mykonian mosaic art is a unique form of art you can admire at one special studio in Mykonos Town.
Mykonian Mosaic Art
With all its beauty and inspirational landscapes, Mykonos continues to attract artists and art lovers from all over the world. There are many ways to see Mykonos with an artistic eye and one way that is truly unique is through mosaic art.
Tucked in the picturesque cobbled streets of Mykonos Town you’ll find a traditional Mykonian mosaic art studio run by a mosaic artist and educator, Irene Syrianou.
Irene was born and raised on the island of Mykonos, where she continues to live until this day. She follows the ancient method of tessera cutting. All the pieces she uses in her artwork are individually cut and shaped by hand.
We sat down with Irene to learn more about her fascinating mosaic artwork and how life on Mykonos has inspired her work.
Enchanting Mykonian Mosaic Art
1. Tell us about your artistic background and how you got involved with the Mosaic-pebble art?
Mosaic artwork is in my blood. I grew up on the ancient island of Delos and fell in love with mosaics of antiquity at a very young age. I was very lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful work in my formative years. It left a very strong impression on me throughout my life. Eventually I got a job working on Delos as a guardian curator. Over the course of the next ten years, I was surrounded by all those beautiful mosaics. I found myself helping with restoration work. Soon after it opened many doors for me in the field of mosaic artwork. I became one of the few specialists in exact replica reproduction work from the mosaics of antiquity that can be found in many museum shops in Greece.
2. How has Mykonos inspired your creativity?
The brilliant light of the island and the austerity of the original and unique architecture, alongside with the deep blue of the gusty Aegean give this island a unique energy that inspires and invigorates me throughout the seasons.
3. As a Mykonian, how would you say Mykonos has evolved as a tourism destination?
In the old days Mykonos was a very lovely and quaint destination where tourists came to experience and enjoy the authentic, friendly and traditional island life. Because the locals were so accommodating and not at all xenophobic, people kept coming. Today, Mykonos has become one of Greece’s top tourism destinations accommodating more than two million visitors per season.
4. If someone wants to learn about mosaic art, how can they do that?
I give seminars and tutorials for adults and children during the summer and winter months on Mykonos. These sessions last anywhere from one week to nine months. I also give seminars abroad by request. Students learn to make their own mosaic pieces. I teach various skill levels from introductory to advanced students.
5. What are the characteristics of your clientele who order your works of art? Have you seen a rise in the interest from the international market?
Most of my buyers are foreign visitors. They seem to have a very good appreciation for the historical significance of the mosaic works. They also like leaving Greece with a unique and handmade gift made by a local artisan. Americans are my best customers followed by Canadians, Australians and Europeans. They buy mosaics that are on display in my shop and oftentimes I am commissioned to custom design pieces for their homes overseas. I offer to create and ship items for delivery across the globe.
6. Which has been your favorite project so far and in what way?
Earlier this year I spent three months working on a Delian mosaic reproduction of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, riding a cheetah. This private commission was an honor for me because it has been one of my favorite mosaics from Delos.
The work was quite a challenge because it required the use of small inlaid tiles of various colors and materials. The detail of the work made this a difficult and challenging piece that tested my skill levels. I was very happy to have received and worked on a challenging commission.
7. In your opinion what makes Mykonos a special destination?
I believe Mykonos is a special and interesting destination primarily because of its proximity and access to the island of Delos. Having an island from antiquity next door to us with very rich history that is still very much in fact a fortunate treasure for the citizens of the world — and it’s right in our own backyard.
Of course, the beautiful beaches and remarkable nightlife of the island along with the magnificent and interesting Cycladic architecture and picturesque waterfront is what makes Mykonos an irresistible Greek island worthy of a visit.
On one of your walks around Mykonos Town make sure to admire the remarkable Mykonian mosaic art. It is impressive indeed!