Vancouver mosaic artist Lilian Broca shows Heroine of a Thousand Pieces Judith Series
A revival of mosaic art is underway, and award-winning Lilian Broca is leading the charge. Centuries ago, mosaic art was literally removed from ordinary people, with works mounted on churches’ walls and domed ceilings. Broca wants to make the form accessible to all.
Her exhibition, Heroine of a Thousand Pieces: The Judith Mosaics of Lilian Broca, interprets the story of the Biblical figure. It features seven large mosaic panels created in Italian smalto glass. The panels, which Broca completed over three years, weigh approximately 80 pounds, and range from 70 to 78 inches tall, and 48 inches wide.
Throughout her career, Broca has depicted powerful mythical women, including Lilith, Esther, and now Judith, whose stories are relevant to today’s social and gender issues. The method of making mosaics is complex and labour-intensive, but suited to her themes.
The story of the strong-willed Hebrew widow Judith and the enemy Assyrian general Holofernes fits with Broca’s desire to tell stories of spirited women whose sacrifices, courage, and sheer force of will resulted in powerful social changes. The Judith Mosaics reveal Broca’s interpretation of an ancient story that raises ideas about women’s role in society, encouraging contemporary women to possess the courage and inner strength of the independent, daring Judith.