Diana Ali was born in Rusholme, Manchester to Bengali parents and is now based in Nottingham, UK. She actively works nationally and internationally taking her practice to different cities and spaces. Diana has a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University and a Masters in Contemporary Fine Art Curating/ Practice from Sheffield Hallam University. She is also a Fellowship in Higher Education (HFEA Status).
She is a visual artist, international curator, creative mentor, art lecturer and tutor, workshop leader, NWC board member and a-n (The Artist Information Company) council member.
Her practice involves fictional narratives, drawing, installation and a play on language and text through direct animation. She is interested in correspondence, communication, connectivity and collaboration and this is extended through her international curatorial projects.
Her work is about distance, travel and reaching out. She travels, gets lost, and collects found and hidden images embedding narratives within them. She documents stories from her own and others experiences. Some are about political responses and reactions, cultural and language boundaries, human interactions; bringing different fragments of cultures into one space.
As a Visual Artist, she has exhibited regionally, nationally at the TINAG festival, London and Site Gallery, Sheffield and solo at the Airspace Gallery, Hanley. Her international exhibitions include The Library Artspace, Victoria, Australia, The Crafts Fair in San Francisco, The Roaming Biennial in Tehran and the Other Asia’s exhibition ‘ReDo Pakistan’ in Karachi, Pakistan and has been featured in The Disarmory Newspaper in New York.
To date she has independently curated fourteen shows. National projects include ‘Up & Coming’ at the CUC in Liverpool, an event showcasing 60 emerging national and international artists, ‘Subversive Correspondence’ featuring fifty artists in London and Bristol and ‘Dialogues: A Fake Romance?’ in Swansea with thirty artists. Internationally, she has curated in countries with cultural divides; ‘A State of Un-Play’ at Atelier 35 in Romania, ‘Engagement and Entrapment’ in Israel and Palestine, Cyprus and South Korea. ‘Loss & Lucidity’ in California and Lisbon, which was her largest show featuring 58 international artists.
She is currently working with promoting and advocating the importance of creative thinking and making in different sectors outside of art. She has given presentations and workshops at the Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham University, Southwark Cathedral, KPMG, Archaeology groups (DNMGS), Haringey Council (business & Art) and schools and communities centres (well-being, domestic violence issues, race and disability).. She currently works at Loughborough University and Open College of the Arts (University of the Creative Arts)
CV & Education
2018 Fellowship of Higher Educational Academy (FHEA)
2007 MA Contemporary Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
2006 Cert Ed (PG), Derby University
2001 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University, UK
1998 BTEC Diploma Foundation Art & Design, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
2019- Fine Art Lecturer, Loughborough University
2011- Tutor, Assessor and Course Author.
Open College of the Arts (University of the Creative Arts) BA Drawing, Painting Creative Arts, Fine Art and Foundation- Level 4,5,6
2018 Course Leader & Lecturer for BTEC Pre-Degree Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Grantham College- level 4
2017 Lecturer, Concept Art in Games Development, Derby College- Level 3
2010 Art, Design, Animation Lecturer, Huanghuai University, China- Level, 3,4
2009-10 Open Studies Lecturer, ‘Art Techniques from Different Cultures’ Centre for LifeLong Learning. University of Warwick - Level 4
2008 Head of Art & Design, Course leader, BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design, A Level Course Leader Art & Design, South East Derbyshire College
2019 Loss & Lucidity, Appleton Gallery and Braco de Prata Factory, Lisbon
2019 ‘Change the Script’ Celebrating the rich cultural diversity of Muslim Women. In collaboration with Baroness Uddin.
2018 Loss & Lucidity, Santora Space, Santa Ana, California, US
2017 Medieval Graffiti, DNMGS, Creswell Crags, Workshop
2016 Engagement & Entrapment, Galerie GAIA, Seoul, South Korea
2015 Engagement & Entrapment, Zmart Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus
2014 Engagement & Entrapment, Binyamin Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
2013 A State of Un-Play, Atelier 35, Romania
2012 Parallel Universe as part of IAQA, BarLane Studios, York, UK
Mis-IN-Formation, Fringe Arts Bath (FAB), UK
2011 double lives: duple trials, The Malt Cross Gallery, Nottingham, UK
2010 Dialogues: A Fake Romance? Elysium Gallery, Swansea, UK
2009 Subversive Correspondence, Touring exhibition, Bristol and London, UK
Olfaction, Empty Shop Gallery, Durham, UK
2008 Up & Coming, CUC Northwest, Liverpool, UK
2019 Artist and BBC Interview with Leftlion Magazine, March, 2019
2019 Artist and Illustrators Magazine, BBC Celebrity Painting Challenge, p.25, July, 2019
2017 Interview with Paula Sharratt, Open City Design magazine, 2017
2015 Meet the Artist, East Midlands, Visual Contemporary Arts Network, http://cvaneastmidlands.co.uk/diana-ali/ September 2014
2012 Bryan Eccleshall, Artefacts of Failure, 27 July 2012, http://failure2011.blogspot.com/
2010 World Wide Art Books, International Dictionary of Artists, Santa Barbara, California, USA. 2010
2009 Tuckerman, L (2009) Hybrid. Art and Science Collaboration in Yorkshire. ‘Pill Gardens’ P47
2008 The Artforum Ad Project by Jeff Thompson, Nebraska, USA (awaiting publication)
2008 Defamiliarization, a-n Artists Talking: Exposing Contemporary Visual Artists’ Practice, https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/airspace-gallery June 2008
2008 Other Asias- Current 2: REDO PAKISTAN. Symposium as part of the part of the Shanakht Festival and is in collaboration with VASL international artist collective. Karachi, Pakistan.
2007 ‘Defamiliarization’ Disarmory Newspaper by the db Foundation; New York. Vol1. 28-30 March 2008
2019 ‘Desarmada’. Dedicated to ‘Loss & Lucidity’ exhibition, Fabrica Braco de Prata. August/September issue.
2018 Artist of the Month, Axisweb, 2018
2017 ‘Unlocking the Puzzles of Peak Engagement and Performance (PEP®)’ by Elmira Bakhshalian and Dr Martin Reddington, Ebook, 2017
2016 Colours, catalogue foreword for artist Christos Christou, Meres Multifunctional Space, Cyprus, 2016
2013 Author of ‘Professional Practice’ Course, Level 6. OCA Open College of Arts (OCA) 2013
2013 Sam Treadaway & Ricarda Vidal, Revolver:R, Arrow Book Publishing, Editions 1 & 2 2013, 2015
Workshop Delivery/ Mentoring (selected)
Mentoring Emerging Artists: Develop Your Creative Practice, Arts Council
Explorers in Art; Experimental Drawing and Painting Workshops, National
NG:SHE- 5 week art course for women who have been through domestic violence and vulnerability, Nottingham
Bright Ideas/Inspire/True Colours- Community adult art courses, Mental Health and well-being, Nottingham
Workers Education Association (WEA)- Adult Education. Big lottery Funded project, art for families, East Midlands
Wisemoves, Workshop Network, Catmose Gallery- Cultural art workshops, Art from different countries and cultures, National
Learning Works- Youth work for young people dismissed from education Nottingham
Goal FIFA World Campaign workshops to physically impaired people. Nottingham City Council- art workshops for travellers, Nottingham
Derby Deaf Group- Adult learning- communication through the visual
2019 Painting Italy; painting retreat, Lucca, Italy.
2016/17 Artist in Residence- Nottingham & Derbyshire, Medieval Graffiti Survey. Contemporary art interpretations and creating new art with archeologists excavating Medieval graffiti in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Funded by Lottery heritage Fund.
2009 Creative Partnership- Holly Primary School. ‘Interpreting African Art’ Connecting Classrooms in the UK and Senegal. A British Council Project.
Talks & Presentations:
2019 Manchester Metropolitan University, Artist Talk
2018 Guest Speaker- ‘Art and Mental Health’ Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham university
2018 Creative Mentor, Haringey Council, Learning at Work Week
2018 Keynote Speaker ‘Gauging the Impact: PEP Up your Organisation:?Insights into Peak Engagement and Performance in the Workforce, Camden House, London
2017 Artist Talk, Art, Culture and Representation - Thanksgiving Event for Black History Month, Southwark Cathedral
2017 Special Address Speaker, ‘How Art can Enhance our appreciation of the Business World’, KPMG Book Launch
2017 Guest speaker and opening of ‘Here & Now’ exhibition with City Arts & The Institute of Mental Health (IMH), University of Nottingham
2016 Professional Practice talk, Hereford College of the Arts
2015 Lecture, Art as Language, Communication, Creative Thinking‘, Growleaders DiscoveR Your Best Consultancy
2010 Artist Talk, ‘Visual versus the Verbal’ Humber Literary Festival, Hull
Other Professional Appointments:
2019 AN Artist Council member
2018 Director, OffShoots, Nottingham
2018 Judge for Nottingham Women’s Awards
2018 Board of trustees, Nottingham Women’s Centre
2017 Selection/interview panellist. rEvive Residencies scheme- Heritage, geography and built environment. Supported by Arts Council England and Erewash Borough Council
2015 Judge for Painted Surface: Contemporary Painting, Surface Gallery
2015 Growleaders, DYB, mentoring: Artist representative and tutor
2011 - External moderator for OCR examining board for GCE Art & Desig
2019 This Woman’s Work, FAB, Bath
2017 Face Value Katie Piper Foundation, London.
2015 Water’s Talking in Leap Second Festival, Norway
2014 Revolver:R, at Choisi Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland Art for Democracy, Hitchin.
2013 Home: Contemporary Female Masters, Bulgarian Cultural Institute, Sofia Gallery, London.
Digital Dialogues, The Courtyard, Hereford.
2012 She Blocks the Highway, Hong Kong's annual Fotanian Studio Open event
12X12X12, Bank Street, Sheffield
Accidentely on Purpose, Quad, Derby
Distant Dialogues, in ‘Fixation’, WCS, Liverpool
2011 Google Me This, The Library Artspace, Victoria, Australia.
HeadLies in ‘Experimental Installation’, London
The RE….Show, High Wycombe.
Fine Art Bivoucs in collaboration with J.Damron. Nevada. Crafts Fair, San Francisco
A Book About Death, Originally shown at The Emily Harvey Foundation, New York. Curated by Sonja Benskin Mesher RCA, MOMA, Wales
2010 Enter10 Watermans, London
Voices’ Exhibition, City Arts and The Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham
Distant Dialogues, Creative Sparks exhibition, Sheffield Hallam University
Endgame, Persistence Works, Sheffield
2009 Pleasurewood Thrills, The Workstation, Sheffield.
Distant Dialogues in Interventions Part1: Dispersal. Curator: Anneka French
Aspects of Language and Translation, Mile End Art Pavilion, London
Writing’s on the Wall, Artlink, Hull
Dhoom Dhamaka, 2nd Generation, Asian Arts Week at RISC, Reading
2008 ‘The Gift’. ‘Post-Authorship, Nexus Café. Manchester.
Hung, Drawn and Quartered, Moogie Wonderland. Kent.
This Is Not A Gateway (TINAG Festival), London
Defamiliarization, Airspace Gallery; Dialogue Box. Hanley (Solo)
You’ve got some explaining to do, The Common Room, Leeds
Urban Jealousy /1st International Roaming Biennial of Tehran. Curated by Serhat koksal and Amirali Ghasemi