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Dianne Ayres
"Nowhere: a diorama"

Showing at Art & Lit Gallery March 23 – April 12, 2024

Art & Lit is thrilled to welcome spring with our newest exhibit by talented Berkeley artist Dianne Ayres.

"NOWHERE: a diorama"

Inspired by the often tossed-off phrase "in the middle of nowhere" Dianne wrote the poem "Where is the Middle of Nowhere?" in 2012 as a poke at the anthropocentrism. It remained as words on paper until in 2015, when on a tour of Scottish and English needlework, she saw May Morris's embroidery of a William Morris poem and determined to stitch her poem. With the expert help of Nai Chien Sae Teurn's embroidery of the lettering, Dianne designed and worked the birds, beasts and plants in linen, silk, cotton, cashmere (the bear), glass beads (ants and honey drops), pearls and stones (in the river).

When contemplating a work for Art & Lit Gallery, a diorama of this work seemed like a natural. We invite you to peer into this - anything but barren - world of "Where is the Middle of Nowhere?"

Sprouted in rural Midwest, provided with a steady diet of fiberarts in her grandmother’s sewing workroom and nourished in Botany and Studio Art courses at Indiana University, Dianne uprooted herself to complete her studies in Conservation and Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. For six-plus decades she has created objects - mostly in fiber - which pursue the ideals of "useful or beautiful," preferably fulfilling both. Of late, the concepts "evocative" and "curious" inspire her work by offering suggestions to tickle our minds and make connections with imagery, color, pattern and design.

Dianne's work attempts to illustrate the wonders of the natural world and to challenge human perceptions of our role within it. Continuing to observe, explore and create is her path.

You can visit Dianne’s website at

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