Aloria Weaver, Degree Show
Image courtesy of Aloria Weaver

News 4 August 2020

Degree Show 2020: Meet this year's graduates - Aloria Weaver

Introduce yourself and your work. What ideas and themes are important to you?

After 25 years as an oil painter, the progression to the medium of stained glass was a welcome new challenge. In considering possible settings for the windows I would create, my interest in sacred architecture deepened. This provided a graceful transition to stone carving when my stained glass work was curtailed by an international move. Working in the seemingly divergent mediums of glass and stone is inspiring me to consider the potential for future architectural applications for the synthesis of these materials.

What materials do you use? Why are they important to your practice?

In stained glass, the alchemical symbolism of working with lead and light to transfigure matter was particularly appealing. Careful practice and devotion to handmade craft necessitates a return to a sustainable pace, while the use of natural materials serves as a means for reconnection to Source. Through engaging with slow, deliberate processes, utilizing traditional materials, I connect to my origin, both literally through physical contact with the substance, and symbolically, through emulation of the creative processes of Nature.

Describe your studio to us – what would we find?

At the moment, my studio is wherever I happen to be. As I write this, I am in between a hotel room and a tent in the Rocky Mountains at 7200 ft. The hotel room coffee table is covered with all manner of Nature and art supplies: piles of foraged plant and berry samples and a feather quill from the wild mountain turkeys. Pigments splatter onto large sheets of paper and spill over onto the floor. Several wooden crates of books line the perimeter of the walls. Yesterday, the room also contained a baby bird, rescued from the road.

How has the lock-down influenced your work? What new things have emerged in your work because of the restrictions?

Nearly all of my works in progress were packed into boxes to be shipped internationally via boat and I packed what I could carry with me into suitcases. Some projects had to be abandoned entirely due to their size and weight. The sudden relocation also meant that I lacked access to tools, materials, or even a studio or workshop. I then began a new body of work utilizing available local materials and resources, and initiated a series of stone carving projects in local Colorado sandstone, marble and slate using the two chisels I had brought with me from London.

What drew you to the School, and what do you want to remember about these last two years?

Having been drawn to the School by the quality of the artwork, my expectations were far exceeded by the caliber of the teachings. I am eternally grateful for the many relationships with masters and mentors that were forged over these last two years.

When we’re all able to be out in the world again, what are your hopes?

While I hope to be able to return to the UK at some time in the future, my more immediate hope is that the lockdown will inspire humanity to slow to a more sustainable pace and to reassess human values, emphasizing beauty, balance and a reverence for Nature as core guiding principles.