Lorna dating

In the mid-Nineties, Graves moved her studio to the Barbican in London; but by 2001 she was back on home soil in Cumbria, and exhibiting regularly with the new Lowood Gallery in Armathwaite.

Lorna Graves was strongly connected to the land and landscape of Cumbria, but never belonged to any one place, shifting and resettling often, between Brampton, Grasmere and a succession of houses in Hunsonby, close to the stone circle Long Meg and Her Daughters.

A humanist, Graves had an intense sense of the sacred, and this was reflected in commissions such as her 1991 crucifix for Carver Memorial Church in Windermere, the memorial on Little Dunn Fell (1994-95), and her relationship with Welfare State International (producers of the Dead Good Funerals Book), for whom she created a hand-painted coffin in 1994.

Graves exhibited steadily across Britain, Japan, Germany and the United States.

From then on, she was to work full-time as a painter and sculptor.

The one tutor who really inspired her was the mystic painter Cecil Collins; but the turning point in her work, she explained, was an early commission to make studies from the Ruthwell Cross, the eighth-century runic monument just over the Scottish border.

One of her most recent works, Burial Ground (on show at Penrith Museum as part of "Stones; Circles; Landscape Art" until 31 October), is an enigmatic collection of vessels and effigies suggestive of Bronze Age grave goods.

Within the fabric of one of these ceramic urns, Graves had incorporated her own father's ashes.

"It seems that the passing of time justifies any desecration, any level of insatiable or morbid curiosity," she wrote: The very existence of mystery or the unexplained seems excuse enough to sweep aside all former rites, simply to add to the list of what is Known or Found.

Conveying a powerful stillness, these non-specific creatures were neither calf nor deer, sheep nor bear, but something essential and universal.

Although occasionally she worked on a larger scale, and sometimes in bronze, the ceramic forms she always returned to were compact and portable, asking to be cradled in the palm of a hand.

Her sculptures held the nature of stones, rounded and smoothed by the sea, weathered by time, or worn through generations of human handling.

Graves's paintings and sculptures show a universe not just interconnected, but seamless.

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Lorna Graves, artist: born Kendal, Westmorland 23 June 1947; twice married; died Carlisle 23 July 2006.

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