Leona’s work is greatly inspired by the natural landscape and environment where she lives and works. Based in the countryside, she draws inspiration from the rural landscape and the animals which inhabit it. Leona tells the story of how she had originally began creating a body of work based on the farm animals surrounding her studio, in particular the little red hens that occupied the garden, until one afternoon a fox came and lifted them all. He continued to visit the garden for a couple of weeks afterwards, sitting on the street watching in the window as she worked. This lead Leona to begin focusing on wildlife, particularly hares where, in her work, she aims to create pieces which capture the character and charisma of the animal.
Leona’s landscapes all contain architectural structures; she is intrigued by the decorative masonry found within old buildings, as well as the landscapes lit up at night time. When creating ceramic landscapes she likes to do a series of quick first hand sketches and take photographs. She then uses both of these to help capture the atmosphere of the landscape in clay.
Leona’s studio is based on the family farm, which has been home to generations of the Devine Family. Drawing on this family history, Leona has adopted the craft of her grandmother and the other female relatives, who combined their traditional lifestyles as farmer’s wives and traded as dress makers, a craft which was passed down through each generation. Leona has and incorporated their craft into her own, where she has taken a garment which was made by her grandmother, and uses the material to create impressions in the clay, in particular the stitching to create the dresses on her own range of ceramic Angels.
Leona Devine is an honours graduate in Fine and Applied Art from the University of Ulster, where she specialised in Ceramics. Whilst in further education at Limavady College in 2006, Leona received her first commission, when she was selected by Limavady Borough Council to design and produce ceramic trophies for the Danny Boy Festival Music Competition.
She has undertaken several commissions since, including:
- sculpting a trophy for ‘Off the cuff’ NWRC Media Award City of Culture 2013.
- Mayoral gifts for Derry City Council, which have been presented to varies dignitaries including Anne Anderson, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, Minister-Counsellor Xiang Xiaowei from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Right Honourable Andrew Robathan MP and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
- The design and production of gifts for the NW PEACE III Partnership.
In 2014 Leona was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Regional Bursary by the Roe Valley Arts and Heritage Committee.