Dana Adada’s projects range from small coasters and trays to fountains and murals. She was awarded first prize in mosaics at the 2011 Muscat International Festival for Arts, Heritage and Creativity. Adada has a degree in fine arts from the Lebanese University, and taught mosaics at Saint Joseph University from 2004 to 2014, when she opened her own atelier near the French embassy in Beirut. Her work is available exclusively through her atelier. In addition to existing pieces, she designs and executes customized projects for homes and businesses and offers classes in mosaics.
How did you come to the mosaic art form?
I am basically self-taught. It was an art form that I was curious about. I first learned the craft and then started adding techniques and artistic flair. I went [a long way] with my creativity to explore how we can see mosaics in a different way. I am also a painter. I love working with my hands as tools. People know more about painting than mosaics. I am trying to introduce this new vision of mosaics to people.
Did the ancient mosaics of Lebanon inspire you?
My interest wasn’t linked to the archaeological history of Lebanon but something I wanted to know in the art field. Although I appreciate them a lot and love their designs, I wasn’t inspired by those pieces because I’m doing something different, and I hate copying.
What inspires your work?
My Oriental spirit: I love it and I am sticking to my Arabic roots. As a Lebanese, I’m Oriental, or Arab, with a window open to the modern world, the new generation, the cosmopolitan city. I went to a school where I was taught in three languages and like most Lebanese, I have a very rich culture that combines European influences with Oriental or Arab ones. I love the mixture of this combination. My work reflects both sides.
How did the mosaic, that you created with the owner of guesthouse Beit al Batroun, Colette Kahil, at Gemmayzeh café-bistro Paul come about?
Colette took my mosaics class 15 years ago and she contacted me to see if I would want to work on the project with her. We created the mural in 2010. It was a very challenging project with a lot of new materials included and I enjoyed sharing it with my friend Colette, who was a great support and help.
What materials do you use?
The materials I use vary widely and include natural stones, vitreous glass, ceramics, opaline and metal. I only use materials with color that will not fade with time. I would never use plastic for instance.
What is the process for creating a mosaic?
Develop the design, cut the stone, lay the stone, stick the stone (different materials require different types of glue,) grout with cement and polish.
Words by Amy E. Robertson
Cut to Size, @cutosize
Ras el Nabeh, Koleilat street
To visit Adada’s atelier, contact her for an appointment at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 03 234998