Loner / by Jacqueline Iskander Mosaics

Loner. 21.5" x 37.5" | 55 cm x 95 cm. Glass, marble, travertine, obsidian, amazonite. Detail images here.

This mosaic is dedicated to my brother, Frederick Merrill Kuske (1959 - 2014). He died young and unexpectedly. He was a loner, and he died alone. And he was a deeply wounded human being throughout his life.

But that's not all that he was. He was quirky. He was curious. He was a talented amateur artist, photographer, and archeologist. He worked hard, and was proud of his accomplishments. He sought peace in his life.

Distance, of both the physical and emotional kind, kept us from knowing each other well as adults. But I remember the younger version, the hopeful version, the innocent version. And I choose to believe that that was not a version at all, but who he truly was beneath the weight of the physical life that he was destined to navigate.

In his things, my sister found a small collection of obsidian specimens (on right). He had never talked about a particular interest in obsidian, and we have no idea from where he acquired them. They all came to me, as my sister did not want them. The piece in this mosaic is one of the smaller ones from the collection.

I enjoyed making this mosaic. It was not as technically demanding as I would normally attempt but, from the beginning, it felt like my brother. So I just went with it, trying not to fix things that bothered me. It seemed imperative — unavoidable — to let it have it's say.