Upcycling inspiration: Religious Mosaics

In the beginning of January I was on a trip to Washington DC, while there I had the opportunity to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Contained within the walls of this building were a lot of beautiful pieces of art, astounding architecture, and amazing mosaics. Such as the mosaics of Mary, Queen of missions (Left), or of the Immaculate heart of Mary (Right).

These were breathtaking mosaics to see and the way that the aesthetic of the mosaic enhanced it was unexpectedly beautiful. Having explored the history of the mosaic and knowing its ties to religious art, combined with seeing some examples of this in person sparked the initial inspiration.

Starting with my childhood love of LEGOs and the inspiration from the national shrine I had a direction, I just wasn’t sure what to attempt to capture through this LEGO medium. The idea of some how capturing something that related to the Virgin Mary stuck out to me, after seeing the beautiful mosaics, as well as the importance of her within my own life. This directed me to do a take on the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Traditionally this is presented with the woman of Mary, as seen above, but with the size limitations, and being restricted by the amount of LEGOs available to me, including the figure of her would be too much of an endeavor. In searching for further inspiration, I found the following image:


This image is of the same Immaculate Heart mentioned before, however it shows only heart. I really liked this image as it maintains the connection to the Virgin Mary, while presenting a simpler image to capture in LEGO, focusing only on the heart, without the artistic background.

[1],[2] Pictures were taken by me during my visit to the Bascilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
[3] https://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=63467

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • William Benson
    February 11, 2019 1:25 pm

    I really like your inspiration for this project. Making something that has a lot of meaning to you must have been fun. You did really well at answering questions. You should use the suggestion of using this concept in your final project.

  • Hadeel Al Gallaf
    February 10, 2019 3:39 pm

    I love how passionate you are about your project and project concept. I really liked your idea from the beginning and I’m really excited to see the final results. My only question is, how detailed will your project be? Will it capture the small patterns shown in the image or will you be simplifying the design even further because of the LEGO’s? It would be interesting to recreate this image and still preserve its intricate patters.

  • Hussam Alzahrani
    February 9, 2019 9:34 am

    Hey Max,
    I have been following your design idea since it caught my interest in your upcycle post. The idea of religious mosaics is very interesting, and the fact that you are using LEGOs as your medium is even better. I feel like LEGOs have this geometric characteristic to them where you can play with the structure as well as the colors. I would suggest exploring how the nonuniform pieces would contribute to its own aesthetic, and having its own approach of modern art. Great idea!


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