SELKIRK artist Joy Parker is part of a growing renaissance movement to bring the beautiful ancient art form of mosaic back to life in Scotland.

It’s believed that mosaics were being made as far back as 4,000 years ago.

While the art form was overtaken by painting during the past few centuries, it’s been experiencing a significant revival in recent years - thanks to Joy and her contemporaries.

After a successful commission for St Catherine Labouré Church in Glasgow to create an exterior mosaic triptych, Joy has now been asked to make an interior mosaic depicting Our Lady Crowned.

Joy told us: "This is very exciting as I will be using the rich vibrant mosaic material smalti, used in the traditional Byzantine mosaics in Italy.

"I have always been interested in architecture so making art that is integral to a building and the lives of the people who use that building, is a dream come true."

Closer to home Joy has created a series of mosaics based on her sketches from Deryck Henley's life drawing class at the Haining.

The stunning mosaics can be seen at the next WASPS studio open weekend in Selkirk on Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8.

Another artwork which will be on show during the open weekend is that of her protégé, Justin Starkie.

The 13-year-old Selkirk High pupil has been working with Joy over the summer to create a sculpture of a mosaic dragon.

Following the forthcoming open weekend, Justin's Dragon will be given a permanent home in Justin's garden in Bannerfield.

Joy added: "Justin is a gifted artist with an eye for colour and form – mosaic seems to be his thing."

Joy regularly shares her knowledge on the skills of mosaic making and runs workshops for both adults and children - her next workshop will be held at the end of October.

Prior to the Selkirk open weekend and Joy's workshop, she will be heading for the capital to take part in the British Association for Modern Mosaic's forum and exhibition.

The Association's decision to hold its annual forum in Edinburgh for the first time since it was founded 18 years ago emphasises the increasing importance of mosaic art in Scotland.

The University of Edinburgh is custodian of the fragments of the iconic Eduardo Paolozzi archway mosaic, which were salvaged during the upgrading of London’s Tottenham Court Road Tube Station, is an additional reason why it seemed appropriate to hold this year’s forum in Scotland’s capital.

The forum, Mosaic: A Celebration of Design, Expression & Colour, at University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art later this month will be attended by mosaic artists from around the world.

And an exhibition of contemporary works, the first of its kind to be held in Scotland for more than a decade, is now running in the capital's Patriothall Gallery, until Sunday, October 1.

The British Association for Modern Mosaic chair David Tootill believes that mosaic will only grow in importance because everything everywhere is beginning to look the same.

He said: "While I’m not saying that every new building should include mosaic, we need developers and builders who know about

architecture’s most expressive surface. Mosaic will help make our towns and cities stand out as places we’re supposed to live in.”