Welcome and thank you for visiting my website...
'Mother and Child'
My first 'Mother and Child' R.I.H.E 1975
So delighted to be working again. The clay is symbolising my inner life. Also a meaningful
contact with my ex-tutor David Cowley who wrote the text below to me recently. Thank you David...
Hello Diana, so good to hear that you have not retired! Keep thinking, feeling and seeing by making in your special way. There is no good reason that I can think of to stop until we can't raise the clay or
lift the brush.
Very good wishes,
'Primigravida' Morrab Library
The tapped-out talks were astral bodies.
Twinkling stars, playful asteroids and
with the occasional meteorite too.
My wistful moons, your thoughtfully
Venus rising. In me, not you.
A supernova of an ending.
A Clay Renaissance...
In 2024 I will be rejoining Open Studios, after a one-year lapse in 2023; I had organised an event at the Penzance Literary Festival and it had involved a major clash of interests!
AND I had made the decision to retire from ceramics in 2023, Therefore I closed down my 'followers accounts' and forthcoming exhibition opportunities, and made the decision to sell my house/studio/gallery and to move into a new -build apartment in Penzance. My plan was to concentrate on my short story writing and poetry, enjoy a leisurely lifestyle and, perhaps, occasionally travel again. No, after fifty years of working with clay I couldn't give it up: the decision has been reversed! Four new pieces of sculpture and another on the way. My studio is slowly taking shape...
'The Conversation' August 2023
'Bird Standing' August 23
'Fledgling Bird' 2020 a favourite!
I take to the malleable clay the emotions of the day; all the angst and joy and all the thoughts that may need resolution and action. My brain, my senses and my hands create what you see when you look at a piece of my work ~ your brain and senses and touch create the emotions you feel when you take ownership. You are the final decision-maker, the future of the sculpture is in your hands...
'Primigravida' Morrab Library 2020
'Mother and Child' - private collection '22
Gravity fascinates me. The theme of my work evokes the brink of gravity, the very edge of falling and an uncomfortable sense of foreboding! Thwarting gravity fascinates me even more: balance and counter-balance are the key figures in exploring the poised point; the apex of the fall...
'Sculpted Bowl' - smoke fired, ash glaze
I began sieving the clay streams near my home in Tywardreath, Cornwall when I was ten years old. I instinctively knew to sieve all debris, mostly rotting vegetation and small pebbles, before drying the clay on granny’s washing board. When it was malleable I fashioned figurines of the neighbourhood dogs and cats. So began a life time of working with clay...
New work Aug 23 - 'The Conversation','Bird Standing' and 'Hugo Laing'
I am influenced by archaic Greek sculpture (especially early Cycladic), crumbling medieval statuary and weathered rock formations that I have observed all over Europe. Using clay, stone, wood, metal and water, I borrow from the Elements: taking oxides from the earth for colour and texture. Fire to transmute wood, clay and metal. Wind for movement and water, sometimes living flora to enhance or weather the form. I draw from emotive memories and combine them with new experiences which, through their fusion, create forms - whether abstract or representational that, hopefully, conveys an interactive response between the viewer and the piece of sculpture. Ever aware of my nemesis: gravity! Although some may say it is my elemental friend...
The stroke struck at one o’clock…
Seeing the sight of darkness,
the light unknown.
Numbing the pain before it began,
the hurt that never came.
Saying a word without an echo,
another saying nothing.
Thinking a thought that had
lost its destination many times.
Reaching for a hand that isn’t there
but that leads me into another land.
Sensing a gloom that’s going nowhere,
a shadow that has been hiding.
Opening the pages of a book without
hearing words without a book.
…a frame of mind
that looks like a picture.
A night time without dreams,
it happened again yesterday.
I am walking the path before it began
and before it went away.
Hearing the wind losing its way,
the sound of emptiness.
Watching the sea shallowly breathe,
as it waits for the evening tide.
Remembering a gentle look that
hovered between the days.
Feeling a smile going inward,
a heartbeat catching up.
Waving at someone,
someone waving back…
'Soaring Gull' 2022 private collection
Hypatia Trust - Temporary Gallery for Henry Moore Influenced exhibition
(courtesy of the late Melissa Hardy and curated by Delpha Hudson) 2019
New Work for 2023
Sculpture in 2023 began with a complex piece, 'Mother and Child' abstract representation but this one is different: 'air bending' is depicted in the mass transcending from mass to void and the gravity is counter-balanced accordingly. It was followed by 'The Conversation' which was partially burnished to help the highlights and shadows, it also has a triple balance which I asked two friends to choose from for the base presentation. 'Bird Standing' was a simple roll of clay gouged by hand to make wing impressions, with some carving to emphasis the form. 'Hugo Laing' was largely a work of the imagination, though screenshot pics helped too; very abstracted but the smooth gloss finish held a surprise: the eye, tip of ear and his back held the light and reflections.
'Mother and Child' - 2019
"The problem for me is finding the truth
in the 'form' of the sculpture."
'The Conversation' 2nd view, with the rhythmic balance chosen. '23
"Look for a motive in your work. Repetition is growth, different but the same object matter."
My early work influenced by Henry Moore
(the cracks are fissures in the crank clay)
"There is no such thing as inspiration,
only hard work." Henry Moore
Exhibition notes for Hypatia Trust 2019
'Holocaust Hands' exhibited Newlyn Art Gallery 2014
"Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is
more logical and scientific and make you worry about gravity." Damien Hirst
"Observe, feel the emotion, think and work
the material in your hands. Which medium
you use will speak your truth." Henry Moore
I am so pleased to be the featured poet this coming Wednesday 4th October,
at The Union Hotel, Chapel Street, Penzance hosted by Angela Stoner, herself a well-published poet, who created this event called 'Poetry and Pints'
earlier in 2023. Poets are invited to read their work during Open Mic. Everyone welcome...8pm to 10pm...
I have been writing and performing poetry for decades. Initially at the Poetry Society, Earl’s Court, and two fringe theatres: The Bush and The King’s Head, Islington. Twenty six years ago I moved to Penzance and joined the much-missed Penzance Arts Club. The well-known poet Bob Deveroux regularly performed there, and he introduced me to the local arts community. With his encouragement I began to perform my work – using a range of dialects and often with the audience's participation. Nearly two decades later I am still enjoying poetry
performances, especially if accompanied by poetry friends...
My poems reflect the 'warp and weft' of living. Sometimes they are sad
and painful, often they are humorous. Always they seek our vulnerability and mortality - hopefully with a gentle 'eye' - whilst I explore the themes of loss, love, illness, dementia and death.
I hadn't closed the gate,
it was only a gate-type of gate
but it closed you off from me forever.
Looking back I saw my footprints
on the lichened path.
I saw your windows shaded by shadows
and quiet dust motes settling for the night.
Penzance Literary Festival 2023
The Poetry Open Express was a SELL OUT,
seventeen poets and me read to each other and
audience - standing room only, every spare seat taken, so made lots of money for the next Open Mic in 2024. I have retired! Hopeful that the event will continue with a new voice compering the local, and not so local poets...
THE END OF AN ERA!
'Bronzed Bird' 2009, reprised 2023
'Artemis' 27cm x 11cm.
I ""Those who flow as life
flows know they need no
other force." Lao Tzu
It is the substance of my shadow,
it is the white space of my mind
and the kernel of my being.
It is the infinity of my thoughts.
It is the taproot and the lightening rod
of the commune with my God.
Pathos. 42cm x 18cm.
"My destination is no longer a
place, but a new way of seeing."
"The main thing is to be moved,
to love, to hope, to tremble, to live..."
'Aftermath' 27cm x 11cm.
Oaken our hands laden with age,
lichened with destiny,
etched with old grievances.
Old sorrows runneled
into cleats of misgiving.
Gentle byways running
bare-faced with artifice, lying.
'Mother and Child' 2017.
'Aftermath' 27cm x 11cm.
Casting and reeling
Laughing at seagulls
Watching our mackerel
Laughter turns to keening
I am falling
Soft as an eiderdown
Rocking me gently
Bidding me sleep
Now on tiptoe
Agony a crescendo
slide, like a
Working man's breakfast,
Beneath the blue water.
'Gull in Flight' 2018
The deaf/blind seagull
crouched, listening for an echo.
The ancient crow watched,
head cocked, eyes skewing
as the maimed bird began
a walk into the
shadowed road wide as a
lifetime, narrow with seconds to live.
The raucked cry a rising
tremolo of grief,
the gull heard, heard and survived,
and already turning with waddling steps
eager, with intent,
to hear the crow's gentler cries.
'Reclining Figure' stoneware, oatmeal glaze
My mate Charlie Strode
lives in a box, a cardboard box,
a ‘des res’ - a Hitachi.
Comes with polystyrene walls,
and anti-damp sachets.
Ella Mount lives next door in a Sony,
a thirty-eight incher. Bijou,
compact, with nylon reinforcements
and big Velcroed flaps.
Tommy Grime lives in a palette frame.
Polythene windows and a raised platform
base, under floor heating too - if you
don’t mind the fug.
Pete Small lives in a White Knight combi
divided down the middle: fridge,
with poly walls one side,
freezer, with poly walls on the other.
Long Tall Sal lives in an Indesit.
Seven feet end to end - slim as a whistle.
Lined with bubble wrap,
and she’s got LED lighting.
My new box is coming tomorrow.
A Fridgidaire. Very basic.
No bells or smells.
Just two-ply manilla.
A snug fit though.
Probably my last one.
'Mother and Child' - stoneware 2019
Already a spindle’s width
Of knowing the weft and
The threads of rekindled
Already glowing like the
Slowly closing the night
Still the fluttering silence
Another flight tomorrow
Tamped down yesterday
Woven silky tight
A teazled length almost
Almost ready for the paddling.
Memory has already
'Madonna and Child' - 2018
'Sea Swan' - 2015
Sat high on her nose,
so high she saw the sun glisten
and converge into twin orbs -
almost celestial their vision
as they watched, waited,
dipped in coy deference,
rose again, polished and
powerful – almost invincible
in their ability to perch
in their eerie safe from
flaying fingers clutching
an arm, defying cruel
gravity waiting its turn.
The rose-tinted spectacles
tilted in the mist, couldn’t
get a bearing – sought
to regain their balance, find
a centre-point, seek
out solutions, raised their arms
in supplication, changed their
position, sat lower on her
nose – to wait out the
murk and misdoubt
steaming their lenses,
clouding their vision,
fearing the worst.
The rose-tinted spectacles
slithered and slid
down they fell,
into a place neither
knew – to where the
air was clear, where
her resting cheek
smiled, and her thoughts,
clear as crystal,
Her limbs sat in still repose.
Not waiting, not hungry for movement.
Just unmoving, attached to something else, just resigned.
Just sitting in her chair – all the wheels aligned.
Silent, pensive, just waiting for a human hand.
For the signal to turn, to give her space, to move her.
'Cormorant' - 2014
'Cormorant' - 2009
'Resting Gull' - NAG 2014
'The Lovers' - burnished stoneware 2019
'Venus' - carved limestone
"The butterfly counts not months
but moments, and has time enough."
My studio (circa 2009) Birds ready for exhibition at Penzance and St. Ives Art Clubs
Fradgan House Studio and Gallery,
21 The Fradgan, Newlyn, Penzance Tr18 5be
Thank you, please contact me for further details, including carriage. Good wishes, Diana