Diane Maclean goes Beyond at Salisbury

SALISBURY Cathedral’s summer exhibition, inside the cathedral and on the lawns outside, is Beyond, new work by the award-winning international sculptor Diane Maclean, on show until the end of September.

Beyond, which has been curated by the Cathedral’s visual arts adviser Jacquiline Creswell, comprises of eight large-scale pieces in stainless steel or feather-light aluminium. Diane likes to place her work in open spaces, using reflective surfaces of stainless steel and colour created by natural light, to transform industrial materials into something altogether subtler and more other worldly.

The materials she uses require fabrication that employs engineering techniques, which makes her work so distinctive. Each piece changes perspective or colour depending on the angle it is viewed from. In some cases, the visitor can interact with the work, entering a ‘sanctuary’ or walking through ‘doorways’ to explore what lies beyond

Diane says: “I see the materials themselves as an important element in my work. They dictate, in a way, how the work turns out. I try to bring their best qualities into view, in sculptures and installations that reflect light, are suspended, have moving parts and colour, and are therefore not static and unchanging. The science of the material also interests me – how a clear oxide layer on the polished surface of stainless steel produces colour that changes according to the angle of entry of light hitting it.”

Diane also enjoys the juxtaposition of the modern materials she uses with ancient backdrops or natural landscapes. The work provides vistas, perspectives and movement that direct you to a point beyond.

Canon Robert Titley, Canon Treasurer and chairman of Salisbury Cathedral’s arts advisory committee says: “Bringing work like Diane’s to the Cathedral provides us with an adjunct to worship – another way of expressing some of the things we understand as believers but find hard to express in words, and a way of sharing our values.”

Diane Maclean studied modern languages at University College London before embarking on her artistic career. She started out as a fine artist, painting portraits, and it was only in her 40s that she changed course and went to Hertfordshire College of Art & Design, University of Hertfordshire, to study sculpture.

Pictured: Preen;  Threshold; Sky Circles; photographs by Ash Mills