141 Grove Street Northampton, MA 01060
Harriet Diamond Phone and fax (413) 584-1412
Most good art is made out of love and a personal commitment to some subject. My work has an overtly political theme and is expressionistic in the sense of the political expressionists from Daumier to Ben Shahn to Kathe Kollwitz.
My latest large piece, “The Pit”, is an elaborate sculpture much like a very large, open diorama. In the sculpture soldiers are depicted endlessly spiraling downward. Warplanes drone overhead. It’s simple and to the point. We are always at war. Why? How can we get out of this?
I call my pieces mini-installations. They are generally large, overall 5-7 ft wide by 6-8 ft high, and detailed with many figures and much activity. Like installation sculpture they are meant to make the audience feel like a physical part of the artwork. My constructions often start on the wall as low relief, and then move fully into real space. This technique allows me to enlarge the scenes since they can travel back infinitely into pictorial space. Yet by moving into full sculpture in the foreground, I can place the viewer into the sculpture’s space.
Since my work is all about telling a story and engaging the audience, it has to keep a sense of immediacy and urgency. I use simple materials worked in simple ways. The sculptures are predominantly constructed from painted wood, ceramic and styrofoam. I use drawing, painting and sculpture simultaneously. I use caricature, albeit a very gentle form of it, and narrative to tell the story. Repetition of form is the underlying drumbeat that drives home the grave and relentless nature of the message.
I have always worked with subject matter dear to my heart and over time my work has become more political. For me art is nothing if it cannot connect me to my deepest hopes. The more serious my content and subject matter have become, the lighter my working means has become. Despite my interest in political art, I shy away from the heavy handed and the didactic.
In the last years I have shown my large and small pieces at a number of venues. I have shown bronze pieces at Brookgreen Garden in South Carolina, at the National Sculpture Society in New York City, and at the National Arts Club in NYC. I have installed one of my lifesize scenes in the main lobby of the Norfolk International Airport. I have been invited to install work in Massachusetts at the Fitchburg Museum, the Pittsfield Museum, and the Springfield Museum, and at Chesterwood, the National Trust in Great Barrington. In New York State I have installed my work at the Albany Museum.