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About

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LesleyMay Miller (aka Lesley May Davidson) graduated in ceramics and printmaking at Edinburgh College of Art in 1981, followed by a Post-graduate Diploma. There followed some inspirational months spent travelling by bicycle through Europe, Sri-Lanka and India for research.

She has carried out public and private commissions and exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and the USA. Since 1992 she has worked on collaborative sculpture projects. One of these is the ‘Stones of Scotland’ overlooking the Scottish Parliament.  Other sculpture projects in France, particularly in and around the Scots College in Montpellier founded by Patrick Geddes. She has been selected, along with Susan Nuttgens, ceramic artist, to create sculptural elements within a public space in Edinburgh as a tribute garden to Patrick Geddes.

LesleyMay’s work, in which she uses various media, is influenced by travel and generally symbolises life’s journey. Her ceramic pieces often incorporate her own poetry. Symbolic bound figures suggest a trapped free spirit, reflecting observations of the human predicament.

She  lived in the Scottish Borders from 1992 to 2003 where she created a contemplative sculpture garden with ceramic ‘maps’, ‘waymarks’ and ‘leaves’ with poetry.

Now living by the sea in East Lothian, the coast-line is a strong influence in her art, writing and artist’s books which reflect on her environmental concerns.

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“While on the Isle of Colonsay, I studied the landscape during walks all over the island.

I left in situ some temporary sculptural pieces using natural materials.

The days were sunny and long so the light on the wide empty beaches inspired me to make ceramic wave pieces. The marks on the waves which occasionally become words are reminiscent of birds’ footprints on the sand and of the shells. I make a variety of surfaces as can be found on a beach, depending on the state of the tide and amount of wet sand.

I put the waves upright so they became containers for the little poems I wrote while on Colonsay. Words inspired by the landscape, birds and sounds.

My interests remain in placing art sensitively as part of the landscape, rural or urban, where people can easily relate to and enjoy it.

I have been influenced by writers...

“This is a green world, with animals comparatively few
and small, and all dependent upon the leaves.
By leaves we live. Some people have strange ideas that
they live by money. They think energy is generated by
the circulation of coins. Whereas the world is mainly a
vast leaf-colony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not
a mere mineral mass: and we live not by the jingling of
our coins, but by the fullness of our harvests.”   

Patrick Geddes

 

In turn, poets have been inspired by the ceramic sculpture within my Borders garden...'

 

Druin

Silent and draped, eyes hidden
will you unravel now
like a dancer unbidden
by the bemused watchers,
showing a shoulder, an arm,
feet under the green and copper wrap.
Is it to silence you or keep you from harm?
Unwrap your eyes and see
hydrangea’s autumn bloom,
set your body free.
Break the suffocating gag
before the flowers fall.
Wrapped one begin the dance,
sing your song, take your chance.

Elspeth Brown

 

from ‘The Sculptor’s Garden ‘

“Outwardly calm, I walk through the
garden’s journey - ‘past is present
in this garden’ says one ceramic leaf.
The ‘passage protege’ I step over
tugs me into the future, prised open
by the jasmine leaves and minarets
and promises of figs to come.”

Morelle Smith

“Il faut cultiver notre jardin”

Voltaire

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LesleyMay Miller