Our Artist: Diana Bell

11 February 2019

An Interview with Diana Bell from Oxford, United Kingdom.

Here Diana talks about her latest work.

Please describe your artwork style.  I do not consider that I have a style.  Most important to me is what I am trying to sayTherefore I might be making installation, sculpture, construction, collage or painting. 

How long have you been an artist? All my life. I won a painting competition when I was 5yrs old. I was encouraged to paint a mural on the school wall when I was 10yrs & did my first commission at 15yrs.

How have you developed your career? I started as a portrait painter in my twenties, because of my interest in people. Then I went through a period of semi-figurative political work. When I did my M.A. Fine Art in Birmingham I moved into installation, which is still part of my practise. I have completed several large public art commissions in the Oxfordshire area.  The public art lead into public participation installations, again because of my interest in people and the power of art to communicate.

 Where do you create your work?
I currently have a large studio in my garden. Previously I worked in the ground floor of an industrial building when I founded Magdalen Road Studios in Oxford.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society?
I passionately believe that art can communicate in ways that are not possible with language.  This was very evident when I was Artist in Residence at the John Radcliffe Children’s hospital. Also some of my other residencies with homeless people, the elderly and in schools.  Artists can make visual what is happening in society.

What techniques / mediums do you use?

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed? 

The most important thing to me is whether it communicates anything to the viewer.

What project are you working on now?
I am almost always working on several projects at the same time.  I am currently coordinating an exhibition called ‘Art in the Park’ with 3 artists from Grenoble, France, 3 from Oxford & 2 from Wroclaw in Poland. My work will be a new public participation installation called ‘Follow the Path’.  At the same time, I am working on a series of paintings based on my visit to New Zealand. The country is awesome in every sense of the word.

Any current or up-coming exhibitions?
I have recently had an exhibition in Sydney, Australia with a photographer colleague & I am hoping to show the work in Oxford.

Where do you find your ideas for your work?
Everywhere!  The main problem is having too many ideas & not having enough time to do them all.

Is there an artwork you are most proud of?
 Why? I think my installation
Children of the Millennium’ because of the number of children who were involved, but also because I think that the message that we can all influence our world is a very positive & important one.

How do you know when a work is finished?
That is often difficult. Probably when I move on to the next piece.

What is your most important artist tool?
My most important artist’s tool is my imagination.

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
Having ideas and being able to communicate them.

See more of Diana's work here: 


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