MosaicBlues: The Lady Dragon Mosaic on Brač Island .entry-content { font-size:25px !important; }

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Lady Dragon Mosaic on Brač Island


Art in general and Mosaic in particular are most excellent medium to foster individual and group creativity and empower local communities to take control of their own future.

Every year, a number of fascinating mosaic community projects are organized around the world. These projects are of many different kinds. They have very different subjects, participants, financing and organization. There is a lot to learn by studying and comparing what various groups do.

Today I am sharing with you the work of my friend Robert Lisac, a gifted and generous mosaicist from Slovenia, who led the building of a Dragon Mosaic on Brač Island in Croatia. 



The Brač Island Dragon

Questions to Mosaic Artist Robert Lisac

August 2016


Robert, I am very interested in using mosaics as medium for community projects. And I have decided to study some of these most interesting projects and share the results of my research ! 

As such, I have been following, from far away, a fascinating project you have been involved with. I mean the Great mosaic Dragon you guys are building on Brac Island. And I would like to ask you some questions about it.


First of all, tell me a little more about the location of this Dragon. Where is Brac Island, any thing particular about it ?

Frederic, thank you for this opportunity you have offered me, to tell more about the Lady dragon project. Brač island is in Croatia and is well known for its beautiful beaches and it is a hotspot for windsurfing fanatics. Also young people like to visit Brač, because there they can party. 




But Brač has so much more to offer, because its history is closely connected to dragons, because St. George is the main patron of the island and there is also the famous dragon's cave.


It looks very beautiful on the pictures. How do you get there ? 


The easiest way to get to Brač is with the ferry from Split, but the Dragon lady is located in a village on Brač called Milna. Actually it's accessible by foot from Milna. It takes you about 15 minutes to walk there. If you have a jeep-like car you're there in five minutes.

The dragon is located on the Geaviva site (, run by a very brave woman from Germany, her name is Sabine Engelhardt.



If I remember well this is the third year of construction of the Dragon, who is part of a wider project. Can you tell me more about this whole project ? Who got it started ?

I always wanted to create a big mosaic. So I told Sabine about this idea and she was so generous to offer her site to actually make a big project.

Because the island's history is so closely connected to the dragon, Sabine suggested to build one. I found that this was an awesome idea and so we started the whole thing.

So we sent newsletters to her and my base of people to invite them to participate. The whole project based on voluntary work and no payments were involved. So it was more a childhood dream which turned into reality.

Foundation Work

People responded surprisingly well and many of my mosaicworkshop students were also coming to be a part of this great story, but also other people from all over the world were helping over the last 3 years to complete this cute 8 meters long "beast".


Because the project was much bigger than we previously thought, we had to come back to Brač several times. Because it was an open project, anyone could come and help. Even a fellow mosaicist Ilonka, a Croatian who lives in Germany came to help.

Can you also give us a little history of the construction of the Dragon, what did you achieve each year ?

The first year we managed to create the whole sculpture. We thought we would end the sculpture in 5 days, but we were wrong. The first four days we were mixing a looot if concrete, carrying stones, which were the main "ingredients" for the statue. 




Of course we also used some iron sticks, which we integrated in the statue as "bones", so the whole statue was well built and solid.



August 8, 2014


Then one time there was a opening ceremony of the stone-circle, very close to the dragon, where you can meditate and where nowadays are frequently held different workshops (geomancy, dancing, traditional crafts, dry stone building, building in an ecological way...) and of course I went there again, just to be there, to enjoy the opening ceremony and to work on the dragon lady for a few hours.


The third time I went there was with another group and with my family. I wanted to celebrate my birthday there and it was because of this peaceful environment where nowadays is also an eco-camp.




Between these trips also other people were working on the project and recently Sabine held a mosaic workshop by herself to finish the statue. She is really an amazing woman and just because of her the whole project was possible.


Okay, I brought the knowledge about making mosaics and I was leading the project from an artistic point of view, but she was the main driving force when it comes to the organizational and practical stuff like where and how to get the ceramic tiles, the concrete. 


She was organizing the cooking of the splendid food, I mean she is a hell of a woman and a friend of mine I respect very much.



What materials did you use to build the frame of the Dragon, what kind of Mosaic Tiles are you using ?

As I said, tons of stones, ray-bars, concrete and all kind of tiles. Because of the mild Mediterranean climate conditions there we were using also "indoor" mosaic tiles.




How many people were involved in the project ? 


Over 50 I guess?


How was it financed ? 


It was a voluntary project and heavily supported on all levels by Sabine.

What was your personal involvement in this project, how did you become involved ? 


I led the whole artistic and mosaic part of the project, but I want to point out, that this was a community projects where many creative and very nice people were involved. So it's not an ego project as Wim Hof would say, it's a we-go project. A leader of a superb orchestra is nothing without the orchestra.


What are the main problems you met ?


From a technical point of view it was the immense heat, when we were building the sculpture.


You know it's hot when you have to build a shelter...


So we worked very early in the morning from 6 am to 10 am and in the evening from 6 pm to 8 pm. It was so poetical to have an early morning coffee with like-minded people and finishing the day with a look on the marvelous sunset.


Sunset on a Dragon's tail.


We also had to take care that the thinset for the ceramic tiles wouldn't drying to fast because of the heat.

My main problem was maybe to be able to stop working and maybe pushing people too far. You know, it is extremely difficult to stop doing things you love. Fortunately my friend Volker Siebert, who also contributed a lot of good energy and work to this project was gently stopping me, when I pushed it too far.

What is the greatest pleasure about building it ?


Oh, there were many! First of all to work with so many different people from all walks of life. In our everyday life we all live and work together, but we are not really together in an emotional and personal sense. It was so refreshing to work with so many different and extraordinary people which were enjoying the fact, that it is allowed to play on a big scale like children. Money wasn't important. There were no rigid goals. This project was made from people for people! 



It was a joy to see, how fascinated children AND adults were about the project. 




So from this point of view you start to understand that great things were always achieved because people were working TOGETHER and that we have to let go this sick mindset of competition, of competing everywhere and all the time. If you compete, there can be only one winner and the rest are the losers. Such an ill concept! We as a humankind survived because of collaboration, because we helped each other, because we practiced "togetherness".


This is a female and soft but very strong principle and approach to life. This is why the dragon spontaneously evolved into a dragon lady. It didn't happened on purpose at all. It was an unconscious thing. The dragon lady is a symbol of "togetherness".


Oh, and I forgot, I also really enjoyed having a beer with my friends after the work...


And so did the Dragon !


Reach Robert Lisac at : 


I am a French Mosaic artist based in Alabama. I am presently working on several Mosaic Community Project involving several hundreds participants in partnership with Troy University in Dothan and the Wiregrass Museum of Art.


If you would like to discuss mosaics for community building or are interested by other aspects of my work, please contact me by phone at (334) 798 1639 or by email at   

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