Smith has been an artist, in spirit, all her life. Raised in Northern Ontario,
she has always loved to draw the human figure: realistically in the early years
and more creatively as an adult.
working for eight years as a computer specialist with the federal civil service,
Diane took up her passion when she left to stay home and raise her children. She
has since studied at the Ottawa School of Art, the National Gallery and the Visual
Arts Department at the University of Ottawa.
2000, Diane left her university studies when she was given the opportunity to
do a one-year sculpture apprenticeship with renowned local sculptor Bruce Garner.
It was there that she discovered her love of sculpting and learned many skills
including bronze casting, welding and hammer forming sheet bronze and copper.
has since been working in her studio, where she continues to expand her preferred
media to include plaster, found objects, fabric, and common building materials.
has also given Diane the opportunity to learn more about her deep interest of
understanding ourselves and our position in the world, by examining how
and where we meet the world.
does one move out of ones self to relate to the world, and what does the
nature of that relating reveal about the self?
believes that people meet in the space between them, in the space that separates
them. While pursuing this knowledge, she has been investigating an implied separateness
and the fact that we have boundaries that define our limits.
boundaries exist, they can be transgressed, explains Smith.
present body of work focuses on our relationship to the material world and the
qualities of the boundaries of our being.
has been guided by her most vivid memory: that of the great Canadian prairies;
that of standing on solid earth with her head in an endless blue sky; her body
between earth and sky. She felt both grounded to the world and roaming free of
we are grounded to the world as physical bodies, the vehicle through which we
move, I have been using the form and contour of the body as a template for my
enquiry," says Smith. :"Working in this manner has engendered associations
to the multi-layered experience of meeting the world, an experience which is physical,
intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.
recent works, such as in the "Door series, the bodies carved into the
doors, in bas relief, become the container whose edges or boundaries separate
the interior from exterior. These bodies have cavities, gaps and openings that
allow for movement between interior and exterior spaces.
uses found doors; themselves once objects that existed in that liminal space of
the threshold. The life size "Bronze figure" is about being grounded
to the material world, and holding onto it even though we are fragile, damaged,
and fragmented. The shell form of the body opens up to exterior space - what we
think of as being contained within is actually connected to space outside of our
selves, physically as well as spiritually, intellectually and emotionally.
the work entitled Cosmos, the body is itself contained in the space,
the liminal space of the door. It feels both constrained and infinitely deep.
with various materials allows Diane to examine the tangible properties and conditions
of edges and surfaces that mark boundaries, disruptions, gaps and the spaces between
things, and, the relationships between interior and exterior spaces. This is an
essential part of the process by which her sculptures and drawings evolve, as
this intuitive aspect has always played a significant part in the transformation
of her works.
has expanded her repertoire to include non-traditional materials and found objects
has made this interesting process that much richer.
recently, Diane has returned to drawing the figure, the focus still being the
basics of ground, figure and sky, and the relationship between them.
greatly enjoyed the recent exhibition of Jean Paul Lemieux at the National Gallery,
her untitled collages of graphite and soft blue washes on paper were unconsciously
influenced by Lemieuxs works, in so far as the placement of the individual
within the space is concerned.
her knowledge of and love for drawing is a very important part of Dianes
life as an artist. An enthusiastic teacher of childrens and adult courses,
she has taught in her home, in schools, and at the local Visual Arts Center, Orléans.
was one of the five founding committee members from Arteast that lobbied for the
creation of the Visual Arts Center, Orleans and continues volunteer her time,
presently sitting on the East End Galleries Advisory Committee.
has completed several drawing and sculpture commissions in her artistic career.
Most notable are: the sculpture of sports figures for the Orleans Recreation Complex
for the former City of Gloucester; the Lehi Exemplary Achievement Award for Boy
Scouts Canada; and the James McGown Memorial Trophy for the Canadian Canoe Association.
drawings and sculptures have been continually accepted in various juried exhibitions
and she has exhibited throughout the Ottawa area since the early 1990s,
including the exhibition presently being shown at the Cumberland Gallery. Her
works are held in public and private collections throughout Canada.
January 2006, Diane will have a curated solo exhibition at the Centre dexposition
Art-Image, in Gatineau, P.Q. Diane can be contacted at (613) 830-2391 or by e-mail
examples of Diane Smith's work
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