A Mapei system has been used to complete a stunning ‘Imagine’ mosaic floor design at The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field bandstand in Liverpool. Created by US-based mosaic artists, Mozaico Art, the monochrome design was commissioned by Orange Amplification on behalf of Strawberry Field. It was installed by Liverpool-based Eye of the Tiler Ltd’s father and son team – Lee and Nick – and the project was completed and the project was completed for contract project managers, PMC Squared.
As a tribute to the late Beatle John Lennon, the circular mosaic is inspired by the ‘Imagine’ mosaic in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields in New York. Larger than its American cousin, the intricate mosaic is made up of 390,000 tiles and measures 6.4 metres in diameter, covering the entire floor of the new Strawberry Field Forever bandstand. Designed by Italian craftsmen from black and white marble – and influenced by ancient Greco-Roman artwork – the original ‘Imagine’ mosaic in New York was donated to the city by the Mayor of Naples, Italy in 1984.
The new mosaic comprises thousands of individual natural stone tessera, laid onto a resin backing by hand; it was completed by four expert craftsmen from Mozaico Art, taking over 15 weeks to create. Eye of the Tiler’s Lee and Nick then carefully pieced it together and installed the mosaic on the floor of the bandstand. Mapei donated three high performance products to complete the installation: Keraquick S1 White – a high-performance, quick-setting, deformable cementitious adhesive mixed with Latex Plus elasticizing additive and Kerapoxy Easy Design epoxy grout. Both the adhesive and grout feature very low VOC formulations, for a safe and environmentally-friendly installation.
“The bandstand mosaic is a culmination of hard work and dedication by so many creative people from across the globe,” explained Major Kathleen Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field. “In response to John’s death in 1980, a 2.5 acre landscape garden in the shape of a teardrop was built in Central Park in New York. The gardens were opened by Yoko Ono in John’s memory and named Strawberry Fields. The Strawberry Field bandstand and mosaic have been donated by Strawberry Field Honorary Patron, Cliff Cooper, CEO of Orange Amplification, and will sit in the original Strawberry Field garden in Liverpool as an enduring message of peace and hope; a beautiful new addition to our attraction.”
Close to Lennon’s childhood home, Liverpool’s Strawberry Field was originally the site of a Salvation Army children’s home. Growing up, Lennon played in its gardens where he would hear Salvation Army brass bands. This served as an inspiration for the famous Beatles song, Strawberry Fields Forever. In 2019, Strawberry Field and its grounds were opened to the public for the first time; as well as including an exhibition area and visitor facilities, it also serves as a training centre for young people with special educational needs.
The idea and design of the bandstand was conceived by Mick Dines and is based upon the drum featured on The Beatles’ iconic album cover, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but with close associations to The Salvation Army and its famous marching bands. Featuring advanced computer lighting and sound technology, visitors will enjoy musical and theatrical performances from the bandstand via wireless headphones as they explore the famous grounds. The bandstand will also feature artwork by renowned pop artist, James Wilkinson.
The mosaic will be a permanent feature in the new Strawberry Field Forever Bandstand in the garden at Strawberry Field.