Category Archives: Portfolio



Video installation and new art book at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art. Moraga, California until August 26th 2018.

The book of poetry and ‘River Writing’ is the result of a year spent filming the San Lorenzo River in 2002/3.
It accompanies the video installation at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art.

The book, INTO BEING – THE RIVER REVISITED, in a limited edition of 20, can be obtained from the artist.
More info

INTO BEING – THE RIVER  See also on portfolio page

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Ubiquitous Seed installation at The Arboretum, UC Santa Cruz, California

Initial sketch inspired by the glyph of the ancient Egyptian symbol for the seed.
Marking out the geometry actual size – diameter 30 feet. Flags delineate the arcs.
Completed work, using natural materials, stones marking out the arcs, gravel pathways.

‘Ubiquitous Seed’ is a thirty-foot/nine-meter diameter circle of radiating arcs, echoing the Ancient Egyptian symbol for the seed. At its center is a ‘sitting stone’, a quiet place for one to step out of the mayhem of our world. Take the pathway leading to the center to sit, to contemplate, to meditate, or to just be.

The initial inspiration for the work arose from a concern that we are losing the essential diversity and quality of our seeds. Seed Banks holding the worlds precious and ancient seeds, crucial to our healthy survival, are being destroyed in war zones around the world and are now at risk from global warming. As we have seen recently, the global seed bank buried deep in the permafrost at Svalbard, in Norway’s Arctic, was recently flooded by melt water, due to an excessive rise in temperatures in the arctic this winter. Central to ‘Ubiquitous Seed’ is the wider symbolism of the ‘seed of life’ holding the blueprint for a new Humanity, guardians of a vibrant and healthy planet.

Sonoma fieldstone, wood chips, (from Cypress trees, victims of recent winter storms) gravel, Rhyolite central stone.


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‘Fragile Memories’


‘Fragile Memories’ is a personal response to the rapid changes we are experiencing in our environment.

The project began in 2012 with an artist residency at Bær Arts Center in the north west of Iceland, where volcanic activity is constant and the rising water from Arctic glaciers is gradually re-shaping the land—one of the most recent land masses on the planet.

Thin Sekishu paper soaked in the ocean at the fjord’s edge and carefully moulded into the nearby volcanic basalt rock, is peeled away to create an almost indelible skin of memory.

In California, wetted Sekishu paper pressed into the bark of our ancient coastal redwoods, is drawn into with graphite to accentuate the fine detail. The paper when dry becomes like an intricately mapped cutaneous membrane—a skin of memory from the tree, who had itself ‘collaborated’ by randomly impregnating the paper with its own brown coloring.

The redwood is a very old type of tree that once, surviving fire and cataclysm, abundantly inhabited the planet. The oldest seed, found by scientists in Antarctica dates back to the Triassic period, about 240 million years ago. As global warming develops, researchers predict that our majestic redwoods could play a major role in reducing the effect of climate change on the planet. In an unprecedented growth spurt it appears that redwoods are sequestering the extra atmospheric carbon in their wood. 

These fine translucent skins, a fragile record of an ancient collective life form and the delicate memory of a seemingly dense rock form, is my way of record keeping, paying tribute to the largest natural living organism on the planet and of our earth that has sustained us.

‘Fragile Memories’ forms part of a solo retrospective show at Vessel Gallery, Oakland, July 3 – August 8, 2015.

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FRAGILE MEMORIES, A Solo Retrospective Show at Vessel Gallery, Oakland, July – August 2015

The work presented in my solo show at Vessel Gallery in Oakland ranged from the ‘Language of Light’ sculptures from a 1996 solo show at Butler Gallery in Ireland, to recent work created in Iceland and California—see Homepage for more detail.

Whilst putting together this retrospective show, connecting themes became evident: translucency, delicacy, contrasting materials and partnership with nature. Moving to California and the Santa Cruz Mountains from London in 1997 was a grounding experience for me, as seen in ‘Counterbalance’  the first sculpture made in California. I remember witnessing a neighbor harvesting  his redwoods for profit. It made me aware of the imbalance we are creating in nature and our inability to see the results of our actions.

After experimenting with video, and the photographic portraits of moths in 2007 – 2011, I had a desire to make a stronger connection to the land. I needed  to listen and to communicate more deeply with nature. The resulting work ‘Fragile Memories’, although delicate and almost ethereal in appearance, has a material strength which holds an  indelible memory of it’s mineral and botanical host.


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Papillons de Nuit, 2011

Papillons de Nuit—Butterflies of the Night—are the night visitors, photographed every evening on my lighted window, deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Attracted to the light, the moth has entered mythology and inspired poetry as a symbol of devotion and sacrifice in many cultures. Paradoxically, our common wisdom dismisses the moth as unpleasant, and it is often extinguished with the glancing blow of the hand.

Using macro photography and video, I present the exquisite detail and beauty of the common moth as portraits—every one an individual in its intricacy and diversity to be seen and appreciated as they disappear in our ever challenged environment.

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Zero Waiting, 2005



ZERO WAITING, a video collaboration between visual artist Diana Hobson and experimental sound designer Susan Alexjander, explores the phenomenon of Zero Point Energy. It weaves together sound and visual symbolism to evoke the Quantum Field from which all life emerges.
The installation was first presented at the Salt Gallery, Hayle, Cornwall, England in August 2005.
In opposite moving cycles, two identical videos, one playing in reverse, create a symbolic journey connecting everything we see with our conscious eye to all things outside our comprehension, from our inner space to the deep space of the universe. Sound frequencies capture the invisible, bringing knowledge to our senses like the quantum imprinting of waves upon each other.

With video as our medium, we present the viewpoint that everything that exists emerges from the same source and life in all its forms, from micro to macro, is inextricably connected.


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The River, 2003




Into Being the river, first shown at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, California in 2003, was a collaboration between visual artist Diana Hobson and Composer Susan Alexjander. It is a metaphorical journey from the first emergence of life on our planet. Gestating in the dark waters, life awakens into consciousness as the sun sees itself reflected in the river.

In a video installation of the element of water (the river), poetry, with sounds and frequencies of elemental and subtle form, we hope to trigger and awaken in our ancient consciousness a cellular memory as old as First Thought, a strand of vital DNA in the multidimensional chain of being” ( from press coverage – DH 2003).

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Elemental Traces, 2000

Ferns are amongst the first plants to inhabit the land. Perhaps, way back in the eons of time humankind shared a common ancestor with the plant life of our planet? Perhaps, stored in our DNA we share an ancient memory

“We remember,
another place,
swathed in the mists of the un- named.
a point of consciousness
retrieved from the aeons of time,
not audible before this moment”.

Within the fern house, the heat, the smell of the earth,dense foliage and the filtering light bombard the senses. Under the canopy of the tall tree ferns, clusters of glass spirals (the language of these trees) collect and diffuse natural Light.  Within a secluded corner, circled by small tree ferns, glass rods form the pattern of a Diatom, the ancient single cell organism, which still inhabits the oceans, is  embedded to the earth. From this place a primitive vortex of sounds emerge, awakening ancient collective memory and evoking a primal connection to our place in the natural order of life.

Elemental Traces were installations at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000 by artists Diana Hobson in the Fern House, Keiko Mukaide in the Arid Lands House and Lens based artist, Craig Mackay in the Caledonian Hall.

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Balance Series, 1999


DELICATE BALANCE SERIES – red concrete, glass and bronze. As the work developed, so did the growing awareness of the crisis point we, Mankind have reached in our relationship to the planet.“Pillars of red concrete rise up from the earth – man-made structures becoming glass.

“A slender twig finds a Fingerhold, the same twig pivots On The Edge and a strand of kelp – protector from the sea – is poised tentatively as the Counterbalance on the Beam Scale”. Fingerhold – height 54 inches (138cm), On The Edge – height 46 inches (117cm), Counterbalance – height 59 inches (150cm)
Balance Series was first shown in ‘Past Recipients of the Rakow Commission’ at the Margo Jacobsen Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA in 1999.

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Language of Light, 1996

LANGUAGE OF LIGHT, A body of sculpture created for a solo show at the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland in 1996.

The text of Language of Light, a book accompanying the exhibition of the same name, begins with  journal entries that follow the work through it’s entire

development.  Poetry accompanies images of the work.

Journal entry: 3rd November 1993
“I still find that new ideas include glass. The difference is how I’m thinking of it (glass)
not as form but as a container for the formless, and in itself not containing it but defining it – (light). Light (spirit/energy) is defined by it…….It is the transformational element……to define the formless, the intangible”.

The work is described below by Karen Chambers in her article, Diana Hobson Speaking Clearly, Neues Glas magazine, April 1996.

“Looking at sculptor Diana Hobson’s work makes me wish I were a poet for prose seems inadequate to discuss her work. In the ‘Language of Light’ series her work appears like poetry itself made physical. It is a haiku in glass, ceramic, stone wood and bronze”

For the newly revived Neues Glass magazine see – Neus Glass/New Glass/Art and Architecture –

Language of Light book –‎

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