Ann-Marie James’ inspiration for Bacchus came from the Roman mosaic pavement at Dorset Museum. Imagery on the mosaic includes a cantharus (a two handled drinking vessel) which has led some experts to believe the mosaic is linked with Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry.
Laid on the floor of the Victorian Hall at the museum, it became one of the only places in the world where people could walk on Roman mosaics.
Likewise, the rug is the only artwork in the exhibition that people can touch – in fact, they are encouraged to walk on it, or sit and feel the texture of the design.
“I was interested to think of these incredible historical mosaics as having once been domestic, and found myself wondering about the nature of the space they had originally been made for. With thoughts of dining halls, social spaces and gatherings, it seemed fitting to name this series after Bacchus.”
Ann-Marie began by making a graphite rubbing of a section of the mosaic floor. She took this back to her studio where she photographed it, and then painstakingly traced over it to make a digital version. From this she made an outlined vector file.
With this file, Ann-Marie was able to make machine-cut vinyl stencils, which she used to shave a design based on the Roman mosaic into a cream rug.