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"When I first thought about what my most sentimental object in my home was, I realised I’m not a very materialistic person. There are beautiful things I’ve received over the course of my life through travelling and from family and people I’ve met, but I’m not attached to them. I do spend a lot of time in my garden though, so I think that’s the most sentimental ‘object’ in my life.

My partner Norman and I started working on the garden as soon as we moved here in 1992. We wanted a garden that would feed us our own organic produce, and I wanted it to also be a place of beauty. We created a circular mandala shape, then put beautiful sculptures in amongst the veggies and fruit trees.

Earth Mother is at the centre of the garden. I made her out of clay and she’s my interpretation of a happy and healed Papatūānuku. She’s voluptuous, round and joyful – she’s the biggest thing I’ve ever sculpted. Our Earth at the moment is somewhat downtrodden, because so much is going on. I decided I wanted to create an image of her that is positive for people to see, to bring hopeful energy into the physical world of Earth Mother. I started with a little model, and I built her with layer after lalyer of clay coils. When finished, I fired her in a big kiln that I built myself.

We also have a sculpture in the garden that our son made before he died. He made the form in wax – he was creating a perpetual motion machine but he never got to finish it. It was in our garage for a long time, and then we decided to have it cast into bronze and placed in the garden.

I like the idea of curves, the garden is a flowing-growing place. The birds love it too. Usually there’s heaps of different kinds, some tearing the compost apart hunting for worms and tiny ones sucking nectar out of the flowers. It’s a beautiful place for us all to enjoy." - Diana, Gisborne

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