Diana Burch (b. London 1962)
I have a socially engaged visual arts practice combining my studio work with community outreach.
I grew up in London and moved as a young adult to a small country town in Surrey . Over thirty years later, we are still here, surrounded by heath and woodland that we walk regularly and that inspires much of my work. Our daughters are now grown and have flown the nest.
With a background in graphic design, I ran my own freelance business for 14 years. When my children were very young I temporarily changed course,
re-training to work with children with a variety of special needs and in mainstream education.
In 2015 I graduated from UCA with BA(Hons) in Fine Art.
Over the following years it has been my privilege to work with curators and commissioners of some extraordinary and varied programmes of work. Each has helped me to grow as an individual and as an artist.
My aim is to share and encourage the innate desire to create that is uniquely human. I believe that the contemplative action of making puts us back in touch with our ancient origins. I work on funded programmes in pupil referral units
and on community projects, in hospitals, arts and heritage centres.
Through my studio practice, I aim to connect with the viewer in a space where the work feels familiar yet somehow challenging, inviting the audience to immerse themselves in the views and create their own narratives.
In my public practice, communication is vital to the working relationship, particularly when participants are vulnerable and living in challenging circumstances.
I believe that art does not belong in a vacuum but should initiate conversations with a wider audience about issues that concern us all.
Shield - Natural Response solo exhibition.
Social Engagement Projects
The GladRags Project
Voluntary rapid response to Covid-19 crisis with Haslemere Museum.
Subsequently awarded Arts Council England emergency funding to develop with other co-ordinating hubs nationally.
The Ice Project
Eastleigh Young Carers, Hampshire Cultural Trust.
Hampshire Cultural Trust / Paul Hamlyn Foundation
FISH holiday scheme - facilitating artist
Guildford Borough Council
The Big Draw GLive Theatre.
The Big Draw Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.
West Dean College Arts and Crafts Festival
Open-access public participation piece.
Arts Award Bronze: Fulham Palace SW6
Series of community workshops and Exhibition,
Haslemere Museum, Surrey
Spirit of the Woods, South Hill Park, Berkshire
Open access family workshops
Keepsakes, Pump House Gallery, London
From Ordinary to Extraordinary, Grant funded community creative education project Haslemere Museum, Surrey
Creative Workshops for Wellbeing,
sponsored by The Arts Society, Haslemere.
Dementia-centred outreach for Haslemere Museum in Surrey day care facilities.
(2017-19) Creative Space
Weekly voluntary facilitator supporting people affected by cancer, Fountain Centre, Royal Surrey Hospital.
Awards and Commissions:
2019: Swimming; Installation in Waterloo London: Commissioned by Young Vic Theatre
Shortlisted: International World of Wearable Art Awards, New Zealand
Finalist: The Signature Art Prize London
‘Pop-up studio’, Streatham Space Project London launch 2018
Finalist - Richard Seager Art & Craft Design Award 2018
ArtCan Artist Award 2017
Roots; installation commissioned by Engage! Festival
South Hill Park, Berkshire 2016
From the Ordinary to the ExtraOrdinary Community project,
Haslemere Museum, Surrey
Youth Uncovered AiR collaboration and exhibition,
Gerald Moore Gallery, London
Mind Over Matter (micro AiR) Hop Gallery, East Sussex
June 2020: Transient: Virtual Reality Exhibition by international
February-present: Elevate: - ArtCan, The Shard, London
Counter Balance, Trinity Art Gallery, London E14
Unfolding Nature, with Geraldine Molia and Mark Welland, Streatham Space Project, London
The Signature Art Prize Finalists Exhibition, Trinity Art Gallery, London
Guest Emerging Artist – West Dean College Arts and Crafts Festival, Installation and participation piece.
Standing in the Light: Guildford Cathedral, Site Specific installation.
International Day of the Girl Child - Group exhibition, London
Natural Response: – solo interactive exhibition,
South Hill Park, Berkshire:
‘What is the Point?’: ArtCan, Camden Image Gallery
Rewild: Collaborative multi disciplinary performances with Livia Rita
and company, Ugly Duck, London.
Still, Life: Solo outdoor exhibition, the SPACE, St Leonards, East Sussex
Liminal: Artspace, Cambridge Artworks
Desire Lines: Solo Exhibition at Martyrs’ Gallery, East Sussex
Threshold: Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green E2
Hop Gallery Open Exhibition, East Sussex
Unforeseen: Forest Arts Centre, Hampshire
Naturally Speaking; Mirror Gallery, Berkshire
Contours & Connections, with Louise Scillitoe-Brown,
The Stone Space, Leytonstone, London
Space and Place, Left Bank, Leeds
Graduate Show - UCA Farnham