Diana Lynn
     Thompson





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Lingual

2008-09
359  hand-made ceramic and real drilled stones

Half of these stones are real. 
The other half are handmade.

The real ones came from places where I walk. 
Their elongated shapes caught my attention.
Some are cocoon or capsule-shaped.
Many are the size and shape of a thumb or finger, or are flattened and turned like a human tongue. They are like pestles, wedges, tools.  Some are reminiscent of the Lingam stones of India Ė evoking both an egg and a phallus. But beyond this imagery, every stone remains just as it is.

Stones resonate within us. 
We want to touch and hold smooth stones.  They speak of calmness and containment.  They have a language  which only speaks to me through silence..
When I place these stones on the wall, I write in an indecipherable script, one that seems to be part morse code, Braille, musical notes or the line breaks in a paragraph.

This work is not about words, but it is about language.
Writing about this work, I feel the dichotomy, how words appear so precise but are so evasive. How words can deceive, or take the wrong turn.  Rocks contain a felt, embodied knowledge. They just are Ė thereís no deception.

Every stone is different. This work isnít about making copies or simulations. Itís about thinking as I create every stone Ė making certain each shape is formed by paying attention, attending to the task. My hands leave their mark but remain invisible, their presence felt but not stated.

Iíve learned the language of stones by making stones.

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Collection of the Surrey Art Gallery