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My Story

kimmy Sportsaman - Phil Miller Photograp

Photo : Phil Miller

I have spent my life creating in one way or another. My work reflects my love of nature, particularly the sea which has always played a large part in my life as I was born and brought up on the Isle of Man.
Mosaic making is a very physical process. Each piece of coloured glass or stone is cut by hand using a hammer and hardie, the traditional mosaicist’s tools. The process I use for completing the mosaic is called the double reverse method, which I learnt in Ravenna, Italy, the historic centre of Byzantine mosaic. It involves 6 different processes. More technical info here.
It is always a challenge to produce work with “life” from such an un-giving medium and the limited colour palette available to me also imposes interesting constraints. The biggest obstacle to me is the length of time the work takes me to produce as I have so many pictures in my head but not enough time to create them all.  The fact that mosaic art is so ancient appeals to me, as does the tactile and organic quality of the work. Each piece of work is like a journey, beginning with an idea and ending somewhere I may not have expected. My work is not practical mosaic. I see it as painting, just in a different medium.
I was lucky enough to have been taught by the artist Norman Sayle R.I. who once remarked that one of his favourite things about water colour painting was the “happy accidents” that could happen. It is the same for me with mosaic as sometimes when hammering a piece of glass or stone, an amazing shape emerges and I will save it and sometimes even create a whole picture around it.


Kimmy was born and grew up in Castletown on the Isle of Man in  a cottage on the seafront. Her parents were both teachers and allowed her to pursue her passion for creating, painting, drawing and collage involving smashing up scallop shells  she found on the beach to make pictures. At aged 8 years old she won a competition with the finished picture.

After her art foundation course under the tutorage of Norman Sayle R.I. she went to Newcastle to study design and illustration. On completing her degree she moved to London where she worked as a freelance designer and illustrator having numerous illustrations published as greetings cards and in books and magazines.


Leaving London and reaching a milestone birthday she went to Ravenna in Italy to study mosaic making. Under the tutorage of Luciana Nottorni Kimmy was taught the "Double Reverse Method" of mosaic making. She now laughs at how she has come full circle and instead of smashing up scallop shells, she is breaking glass and stone to create works of art, albeit in a more sophisticated manner! 

Since her first exhibition in 2005 Kimmy has sold more than 400 works to customers worldwide.

March 2024
Isle of Man Post Office Issue six stamps
featuring mosaics by Kimmy.


August 2023
A three metre long mosaic of a basking shark surrounded by plankton at Ronaldsway Airport Isle of Man


Ocean Conservation Research newsletter


Basking Shark Mosaic: Art as Overt Activism and Climate Solution

Amid the digital tapestry of Instagram’s new platform, Threads, dedicated to inspiring conversations, “artivism” has played a viral form of environmental advocacy. Artist Kimmy McHarrie’s monumental mosaic of a basking shark surrounded by plankton resounds as a rallying call for ocean conservation. Crafted 10 ft (over 3 m) in length, the mosaic stands as a visual testament to the diminishing basking shark population around the Isle of Man—plunging from 500 sightings in 2019 to just 8 sharks reported in 2021. Displayed prominently at Ronaldsway Airport, McHarrie’s masterpiece weaves local stone, repurposed glass, and found items into a vibrant tapestry that champions ocean conservation, sustainability, and the battle against the climate crisis. Accompanied by a poignant film featuring basking shark footage, interviews with marine biologists and local fishermen, this artful endeavor amplifies the importance of protecting our ocean’s fragile ecosystem and the myriad species that inhabit it. For as the saying goes, “A landscape that hasn’t been evocatively described becomes easier to destroy.” In an era where activism finds its voice in art, Kimmy McHarrie’s mosaic emerges as a resonant call to action, an embodiment of hope amid the ebb and flow of our oceanic journey. 

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