Get to Know the Artists: Diana Hobson

May 13, 2017

Get to Know the Artists
Art in the Arboretum: Environmental Installations

Several of the artists participating in Art in the Arboretum: Environmental Installations shared their personal histories and thoughts on art and being an artist and responded to the questions below.

Diana Hobson

An English-born artist and a graduate from the Royal College of Art London, Diana Hobson now lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California. Her work has evolved Diana Hobsonthrough glass/mixed media, sculpture, installation and photography to include video and sound installation. The project subject and content dictate the medium, and the work itself arises from her strong connection to the land expressing itself in the environment. In 1980, she researched and helped revive the French glassmaking process of Pâte-de-verre. Examples of this work are in the collections of Museums worldwide. These include the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Louvre, Paris. Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan, Metropolitan Museum of Art. NY.

Ubiquitous Seed“Ubiquitous Seed,” her sculpture for Art in the Arboretum: Environmental Installations, is a thirty-foot diameter circle of radiating arcs, echoing the ancient Egyptian symbol for the seed. At its center is a “sitting stone.” Take the pathway leading to the center to sit, to contemplate, to meditate or just be. The inspiration for the work arose from concern that we are losing the essential diversity and quality of our seeds, with the wider symbolism of the “seed” holding the blueprint of new life for humankind and the restoration of our planet. See more of Hobson’s art at

What person, place, or event has been a primary influence on your work and why?
 The most dramatic influence on my work has been the power of unspoiled land, bringing me into deep resonance with the primal power of nature. In 1977, following graduation from the Royal College of Art in London, I received a scholarship to spend a year in Finland. It was in Finnish Lapland that I found myself alone in that vast glistening white expansive landscape. I had the experience of being one with everything, a sense of infinity. Later, in 2012 in the North West of Iceland, as an artist in residence at the Bær Arts Center, I again felt the sheer primal power of the earth.

Adjectives that best describe you as an artist/person:  Constantly moving with the creative process. Treading new ground to express an ever-deeper connection with nature.

Adjectives that best describe your work:  Experiential, detailed, contemplative, nature based

  Counterbalance Detail   Diatom Detail

If you had a personal philosophy/motto, what would it be? Be true to yourself, think outside the box, feel the excitement of treading new ground and have the courage to jump!

What might surprise someone about you/your work?  I’m a Qigong practitioner!

What are your thoughts on the Art in the Arboretum: Environmental Installations exhibition?
This has been a very special opportunity, in a very special place, to create a work that resonates with the environment. It introduces a new experience to be enjoyed in the garden. A exhibit to experience and be remembered.