salvaged







    
Diana Lynn
     Thompson





      
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recycled art      salvaged art     organic sculpture   installations
1. Where were you born? Where have you travelled, lived and studied?

   Born in Vancouver General Hospital.
   Lived:   Vancouver, Ontario, Florida, Ontario, Florida, Ontario, Quebec, Vancouver, Hornby 
                  Island, Black Creek, Victoria, Saltspring
   Travelled:  Paris, London, Amsterdam, New York, Central America, Mexico, Kenya,
                       Tanzania, England, Scotland, Hawaii, Alaska, Haida Gwaii & all over BC.
   Studied:  UBC,  North Island College with Gordon Payne, and UVic. 
   Residencies: California, Austria, Toronto Island, Atlin, Banff


2. What materials have you used in this work of art and why did you chose them?

   I wanted this work to live outdoors so I chose materials that would last (for a while at least)
   in the elements: metal, glass and ceramic.


3. How did the use of salvaged materials influence your techniques and process?


   It made it impossible to be a perfectionist. I couldn’t control the process or outcome half as 
   much as I hoped. I’d imagine (on paper or in my head) a delicate, lyrical piece and instead it
   would come out coarse, heavy and blistered.
   Also I’d want to do something and couldn’t do it because I  couldn’t find the right ingredients -
   which just meant I’d have to do something else. It’s fun but there’s definitely a frustrating side –
   which can be solved by flexibility and re-thinking. 


4. What is it like to save, rescue or extract materials for making art rather than purchasing them?

   I love looking around and finding what is out there – turning things upside down and re-inventing
   them, imagining what could be done if this is added or that taken away…

   When I lived on Hornby we built wooden boats, and were two ferries away from supplies.
   Out of necessity we made do with what we had, which meant making things from raw scraps of 
   metal or wood. I learned then to value – and love – the ingenuity and handwork in a “make-do”
   design.
   I also feel it’s the morally responsible thing to do – to rescue and salvage, repair and re-use.   
   Certainly the hours of labour that it takes to fix an old busted-up thing can never be resolved
   on an accountant’s balance sheet, but it feels absolutely like the right thing to do.
   It's a form of honouring.


5. Do you save ideas and materials like a kind of pack rat for future use?

   Yup. Lots. Sometimes things pan out and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes the ideas get
   done by someone else and then I’m free to do something new!


6. What kinds of things do you collect or save? What can’t you pass up in a garage sale?

    Friends!  And....
    nuts& bolts, spoons, marbles, books, tinware, beads, carved birds, old bottles,
    things with holes, funnels, old tools & kitchen utensils, bowls, ferns, Lari Robson pottery, 
    handmade baskets, weird  stuff, clips, cages, doilies, cotton handkerchiefs, aprons, clothespegs,
    lavender glass, plastic frogs, lizards & bugs, Japanese pottery, bells, curious unnamed things,
    keys, unidentifiable handmade things,  birdhouses, colanders, ladders, wooden boxes,
    etc, etc, etc.


7. How do you see yourself in your studio in your old age? What would you like to be creating?

      HUGE stone or wood bowls for outside…. slowly, everyday,  chip by chip by chip. 


8. Which artist in history would you most like to have met?

    Can’t say just one. Leonardo da Vinci for his genius, Rembrandt for his compassion,
    William Blake, Henri Rousseau, Joseph Cornell, Jean Tinguely, Paul Klee, Beatrix Potter,
    and “the unknown craftsman” (folk artists making work out of passion or need)
    (anonymous was a woman).  


9. Which living artist would you most like to meet?

     Just meet, or get to know? 
     Richard Long, Nils Udo, Giuseppe Penone, herman de vries.
     One of my favourite living artists is a friend - Patricia Larsen!


10. Where do you escape to
       
       
The beach.


11. Where do you do most of your creative thinking?

     Outside or in my studio when playing with materials – or in bed, daydreaming before sleep
     – or in my dreams – or in the middle of an insomniac night.


12. Have you ever taken a substantial break from making art? For how long and for what reasons?
     How did you feel re-entering the studio or scene after this absence?


        Yes, but it was always a difficult time, full of confusion, exhaustion, joy, pain,
         renewal and regrowth.  But in the end I’ve always come back to my work!
              : In the 1970s I couldn't work because of a boyfriend who burned my drawings (ouch).
                  In 1982 I couldn't work after a bad car accident. 
                    In 1989 - for a few months after some extremely harsh criticism.
                       In 1992-3 after the birth of my son.
                         In 2006 after a house fire.
                            And at various other times because of physical disabilities.

      But I’ve learned to keep going! I love life and it’s worth every minute.
      Coming back to work after a hiatus is always a bit tentative  (skills like drawing
      have to be practiced every day)  but as I’ve grown older it’s easier -
      - as art is just what I must do.


13. What is your motto?

        Perseverance furthers.
        Do no harm.
Instead of posting a CV for each of us in the show, Jocelyn and Jane (the organisers) gave us each a questionnaire to fill out. Our answers were posted at the entryway to the exhibition.
Below are Diana's answers.
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