About the object

The Diwali lamp is also known as the diya. Diya is the Sanskrit word for lamp. Diya lamps are often used in Hindu worship, but are widely recognised during the Diwali festival, the festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn on the brightest full moon night. The goddess Lakshmi is central with believers desiring to be blessed by this goddess of wealth. As Lakshmi will not enter a dark house, the Diwali lamps are very important. The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” meaning a “row of lamps”.

About the artwork

Visual artist Marinela Caldrus worked with children and families to recreate diya lamps through weekly in person workshops at her studio in Slough Observatory. The Art Classes Group Limited established in 2016, is a visual arts centre in Slough which supports young artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of inclusive activities: exhibitions, workshops, and demonstrations. They used the handmade clay diya lamps from our collection as inspiration to recreate their own.