Growing up in Portugal, the church interior was a substitution for the art gallery. The forms, colours, emotions and symbolism found inside those spaces have always been an underlying influence within my work and how it is displayed. Like pre-Raphaelite imagery and much of Greek and Celtic Mythology my classically rooted sculptures centre on the female figure combined with nature. I explore the female as warrior, a figure exuding power and confidence, adapting to an environment in constant flux, metamorphosing between human, plant and beast. I work with narratives from the past that are linked with environmental themes of the present. 

 

My fascination with naturally occurring geometric phenomena of repetitive growth patterns in plants and crystals is reflected in the symmetry of line and form that is often found enveloping my figures. 

 

My work brings together my own cultural heritage of Portuguese Pallissy Ware with its rich lustrous glazes and the British tradition of Wedgwood sprigging combining their sense of fantasy, opulence and highly skilled craft. I use a variation of slip cast and hand building to create clay collages formed by multiple cast forms, which are fired multiple times to achieve the depth of glaze required for the work. 

 

My work revels in the rawness of life. Unafraid of its pathos, I aim to merge the characteristics of the human condition with nature’s contemplative and immersive beauty. 

Natalia Dias

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