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Social Engagement

Social engagement is a key aspect of Diana's practice, often working with vulnerable and disadvantaged people of all ages in education, health and cultural settings. 


Self-esteem and wellbeing are enhanced through arts activities. A common project encourages important social connections between the artist, participants and the group as a whole.

Seeds of Hope  (2022)
Commissioned by Surrey Hills Arts for Harvest 2022, hundreds of participants across Surrey joined this project. Inclusive workshops were held where each individual wrapped colourful, donated yarns around reclaimed garden cutting hoops that were later assembled to create seed structures.

With themes of regeneration and optimism in difficult times, this eco-friendly public artwork formed a centrepiece for the Harvest Celebration at NT Box Hill in September alongside choirs, musicians and poets in celebration of the natural environment.

Participating Groups included The Patchworking Garden, Freewheelers Theatre Group, Halow Project, Just So Singers, Eikon, Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, Guildford Borough Community Wellbeing,  The Grange, Surrey Choices, The GladRagsGang at West Horsley Place and at public events in the Surrey Hills throughout the summer.

Big Leaf Foundation  (2022)
Three one-day workshops with Refugees displaced by the 2021 crisis in Afghanistan at Surrey Outdoor Learning Centre. Hopes and Dreams expressed on decorated calico ribbons blowing in the breeze and laughter with a colourful  whole-group twine weave, thinking about roots and new connections.

Cone Spiral  National Trust, Winkworth Arboretum (2021)
Playing with natural materials adds an extra dimension of learning and enjoyment for days outdoors. Diana made several structures inviting spontaneous participation throughout her residency at the Arboretum.

Memory Seed  (2021)
Hundreds of collected words, memories and poems from visitors to NT Winkworth Arboretum gathered within this aluminium wire sculpture describing their connection to the Spirit of Place.

The GladRags Project  (2020-21)

Haslemere Educational Museum

The GladRags Project was developed and launched voluntarily within days  of the Covid-19 lockdown as a response to support wellbeing during isolation, distancing  and to support home education. 
Participants posted photos of their recycled textile projects, using stitch, collage, paint and craft. All were assembled into a timeline exhibition of hundreds of squares recording the thoughts and sights that made our community feel glad during this challenging time.

Support from Arts Council England from its Emergency Fund allowed the project to provide resources to other cultural hubs to create daughter projects in their own areas. 

The Ice Project  (2020)
Hampshire Cultural Trust / Hampshire NHS CAMHS /The Barker Mill Foundation
Eastleigh Young Carers  re-imagined sculpture as costume, designing for a character of their choosing. During the 10 week project they worked with recycled materials, fabrics and garments finding ways to alter, shape and secure with minimal sewing. Inspired by a visit from Hampshire Wardrobe, they experimented with design, print, decorative details and shared their outcomes, achieving their Arts Award.

Horizon 20:20  (2019-20)

Hampshire Cultural Trust / Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Horizon 2020 is an ambitious arts intervention programme using engaging arts and cultural activities to achieve positive social impact and cross-curricular achievement with vulnerable young people excluded from mainstream school, or cannot cope in a mainstream learning environment, for a variety of reasons.

Students each designed and made a three dimensional Totem Head to think about character and expression to form collaborative totem poles.

FISH Scheme  (2019)

Guildford Borough Council

Fun in the School Holidays (FISH) is an inclusive play scheme offering a huge variety of activities to 600 children , 60% of whom are vulnerable or less advantaged.

The facilitating artist works alongside 10-16 year olds, key workers and management to provide a variety of activities for all abilities.

Pop-up Sculpture Gallery 

Strategies for engaging young people include activities that achieve fast, pleasing results. The foil and wire drawing gallery is one of of a range of introductory activities that quickly build confidence and a sense of fun into sessions with new participants, whilst working within often restricted budgets.

West Dean Arts Festival  (2018)

The brief for open-access public engagement was to provide an evolving, collaborative arts activity highlighting discussions around single-use plastics. The Urchin Form grew over the three days of the event with the help of  visitors of all ages.

Horizon 20:20  (2018)

Hampshire Cultural Trust / Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Young people worked with broad ideas of 'self portrait' to express their interests and dreams. From sporting ambition to the rap lyricist and the tender reflections on a relationship, this work was exhibited at Winchester Discovery Centre.

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