The glass dresses are now on tour and currently showing at The Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool,
tel: 0151 478 4199 www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/
from 27 March 2010 until 30 September 2011.
The Danger of the Image:
Glass Dresses by Diana Dias-Leão
19 July 2008 - 22 March 2009
Diana Dias-Leão has mixed her fashion background with her glass knowledge to create a collection of fantastic dresses, made from glass, ceramics and textiles. These catwalk creations are not only visually stunning but also explore serious issues around personal identity, beauty and human behaviour.
“The main message I wish to convey in my work is the fact that even though the image is glittering, it is the person inside who is precious,” says Diana.
Diana completed her Masters in Glass at the University of Sunderland in 2006, but already had a host of qualifications under her belt, including a BA Honours degree in Fashion & Textiles from Newcastle Polytechnic and an HND in Glass from Richmond College. Combining her glassmaking skills with her experience of working in the fashion industry, for well known high street companies as well as high end designers, Diana has created a capsule collection of inspirational dresses.
Her works of art are made from glass, porcelain, wire and silken yarns, and are made for display only, although some have been modelled for photo shoots. She has recently embarked on creating a series of corsets made from barbed wire, one of which is also on show in the exhibition.
“I am inspired by the way people interact with one another”, explains Diana, ”I love to explore themes of isolation and interaction by using the human form with or without the second social skin of garments.”
Diana’s work has been featured in several exhibitions around the country, including the British Glass Biennale in 2006, but this exhibition is her first solo show and features the largest number of her works ever shown together. In 2005 Diana won the coveted Student Award from the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers for two of her dresses. She has also created sculptural and installation works, including two huge cobwebs made from yarn and glass in A Winter Garden exhibition at Tynemouth Railway Station. Recently she has developed her own line of jewellery in a style that echoes the drama of her dresses.
As well as a debut collection of jewellery by Diana Dias-Leão, a diverse range of jewellery by selected artists is on show in the exhibition. Most of the work is for sale, including unique headpieces by The Cat's Tiara's (Amanda Glanville), fused glass jewellery by Alicia MacInnes, neckpieces inspired by archaeology and the coast by Patricia Niemann, delicate works by contemporary silversmith Alex Ramsay, exuberant lampworked necklaces by Jazzylily (Pauline Holt), and enamel necklaces and Verre Eglomisé brooches by Sabre Gilmartin. Several pieces are also on loan representing artists from overseas.
This exhibition was one of the highlights of the third International Festival of Glass that took place throughout the Stourbridge Glass Quarter from 22 – 25 August 2008. As part of the Festival, the Glass Museum hosted ‘Fashion Friday’ on 22 August, which included a sell-out lecture by Diana Dias-Leão.
Secret Garden dress by Diana Dias-Leão, photography by Stephen Beardsell
Glass & Porcelain dress by Diana Dias-Leão, modelled by Rosabella Styles (Miss Worcester 2008)
Single Shackle Bone neckpiece by Patricia Niemann