Today I was feeling like a bit of funk to pep me up a bit after the Festive/New Year blues. I hopped over to Youtube and put on Earth Wind and Fire, the 70s band that never ceases to thrill me , both musically and visually. And there I saw it… a very strong visual influence.
Suddenly I started to understand where my visual aesthetic was coming from, why I identified with the kaftans, kimonos , strong colour and sparkle, the Egyptian style collar neckpieces
the flowing lines …oh there it all was! Hardly surprising really as I was born in 1964 and Top Of the Pops was the highlight of my television viewing childhood. I was always a soul/funk girl ( apart from the regrettable Donny Osmond phase…but I was only 8) and still am . So growing up as a kid in the 70s with it’s glitter and high camp, is clearly a strong influence. I thought I’d take time out to explore my other myriad visual influences that make up the unique c.Art by Diane Goldie style.
Soviet Propaganda Posters
I’m a feminist, and my work is naturally going to have political content. I’ve always had a drawing style that is , to put it politely, not subtle. Intense, bold and high contrast.
With the graphic rays, bold colour contrast and the high contrast simple representation of the face, the influence is clear.
This one is a bit obvious. I’m obsessed with this woman. Yes I know. Her image is a conduit for me to express all that I feel about women’s rage, vulnerability , strength , creativity and resilience. But it’s not only her image, I love her use of symbols in her work, the way she uses her own story to create narrative and her use of words within banners . ( As you can see above, I’m highly influenced by this )
Africa :The Adopted Motherland
I grew up in Mansfield, Notts, England but in 1975 my parents emigrated to South Africa. So I spent my very influencial adolescent years in the technicolour nightmare that was apartheid South Africa. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful country and the majority of the people are wonderful , it’s just that that period of it’s history was very confusing for me. But the privilege of living on the continent of Africa for 11 years with it’s bright light , great physical beauty , struggle and massive diversity in people and wealth, greatly influenced my growing sense of social justice and developed my political side of my art, and of course, my love for bright colour , African textiles and appreciation of beauty beyond that of Western standards. After returning to England I had to live in London. I needed the diversity.
Myth, Magic and the Goddess within
I’m growing increasingly spiritual as I age. I have stopped fighting the strange coincidences that beset me and accept them as a ‘witchy’ ability that apparently runs through my family. With this acceptance has come the gift of magical totems and powerful symbols. Medusa has infiltrated my life , you can’t escape seeing her everywhere in my art. I write about her influence and magical connection here.
Death , Hell fire and Religious Iconography
Death and its constant reminder of the urgency of life, is one of my biggest inspirations. I’m drawn to the cycle of life, being very aware of the birth process being almost the perfect opposite of the dying process, the two bookends of life. Both often are violent, can involve pain but are helped by calm and encouragement to let go. My own intimate involvement with death, sitting with my dear father after he had died, has affected me greatly. I’m now aware of the body as shell and the soul as energy. Energy never dies, it just changes form. Some of my earliest memories of death were obsessing over a full colour image of the crucifixion of Jesus in my illustrated Children’s Bible. It fascinated my child’s mind. The horror and violence of the image burned into my psyche. It’s still with me today. I attended two Catholic Convent schools which enabled me to build on my fascination for religious iconography, with it’s statuary and beautiful stained glass windows. I didn’t get religious but I was left with a deep love of the aesthetics of religious iconography. After all, weren’t they made to inspire awe? They did their job on me. Heaven and hell are recurring themes in my work. I think this for me is not as much literal as metaphorical, like death and life, yin and yang, one cannot exist without the other.
Yes you inspire me. Every single individual who comes to me to help me create a piece of wearable art for them to wear, each time they bring their own unique personal mythology , palette and tastes to the table, my world grows a little richer. Thank you for your inspiration , thank you for your open hearts.