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Sculpture (MA)

Leonie Cameron

Install shot of a multimedia work held up my magpie claws.
Close up of a single magpie claw holding up textile and metal work next to the title of the piece 'one for sorrow two for joy'
Close up of an installation work including hand knit textile, found objects such as stones, shells and sea glass, & cast objects
Close up of a magpie claw with inspiration images

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy takes it's name from the traditional nursery-rhyme about Magpies. Magpies are significant creatures within folklore across the world, hailed as foragers or thieves of shiny precious objects and known for bringing good or bad fortune depending on different superstitious actions.

Due to their spiritual significance, I display this work using hand-sculpted Magpie's feet to hold up a web of precious foraged or forged protective items as a means to navigate and convey the desire for protection and care within my work. The web is littered with spiritually protective Hag Stones (stones with naturally occurring holes through the middle) both in their organic form and cast in silver, along with sea glass and shells. The objects are threaded on to soft wool or tied using mohair bows on to the web between the two claws as an act of tenderness and care.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where our own protection is out of our control. My work reaches for magical forms of protection that are out of our own control on purpose, to absolve us from the shame and guilt we may feel about how situations turn out. Like a Magpie, I forage for these precious items to provide this protection as a form of care, wrapping them in soft wool and hanging them to ward off bad luck.


Hand knit mohair and wool, silver chain, cast stones, hand sculpted bronze magpie feet, shells, sea glass, rocks


75cm x 40cm x 4cm
Sculpture consisting of a metal frame in the shape of a spiritually protective Hag Stone with rocks hanging from it.
Detail image of rocks suspended from twine and silver chain.
Sculpture consisting of a metal frame in the shape of a spiritually protective Hag Stone with rocks hanging from it.

To Become Stuck in the Middle, 2023

One of my favourite folkloric objects are hag stones, which are stones with naturally occurring holes within them. As folklore goes, only good things can pass through the hole in a hag stone, any evil will become stuck in the middle. I take great joy in collecting stones, valuing the process of seeking them out on long walks by the coast as part of my practice. Once you see one, you start seeing them everywhere you go.

This work draws inspiration from stories I am continuously told about hag stones across cultures, especially the way in which people hang hag stones outside of their homes in big stacks on string and twine in order to ward off bad fortune. I love that this act of magical protection and care is enacted by people all over the world, creating a shared consciousness of the spirituality and protection these stones provide.


Textile, silver chain, found object, casting, mild steel


50cm x 110cm x 2cm
Images of hand sculpted magpie's feet cast in bronze hung on frames and holding rocks
Magpie’s Claws in Situ, 2023Individual Claws: 4cm x 6.5cm x 5cm Displayed on mild steel plinths with found rocks, cast precious metal rocks and textile
A ripstop polyester flag with a UV print reading 'I hope to hold your hand, not as an act of defiance, but as an act of love'
Flag, 2023Install shots from 'Soft and Hard', a 14 artist group show curated by Whiskey Chow at Bermondsey Project Space in February 2023. 67.5cm X 93.5cm. UV print on ripstop polyester flag, wooden dowel, cast hag stone on carabiner.
A mild steel metal frame with four points stretching a piece of hand knitting like a sling for a found rock
Sling, 202350cm x 80cm x 27cm. Hand knitted mohair and wool, mild steel frame, chalk hag stone.
UV print on textile and laser jet prints on paper of a hand holding a loved ones face
Hand Work, 2023(Left) 60cm x 150cm x 30cm. UV print on textile, mild steel frame. (Right) 126cm x 118cm. Print formed from 12 sheets of A3 paper.
A hand knitted vessel made from twine
Vessel, 2022Install shots from 'One Night Stand', an exhibition with RCA MA Sculpture, February 2023. 25cm x 25cm x 25cm. Hand knitted twine.


Mixed media works created across my final year on MA Sculpture

Leonie Cameron (b.1997, Nottingham, UK) is a multidisciplinary artist working and living in London, UK. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sculpture from the University of Brighton in 2020 before pursuing her MA at the Royal College of Art from 2021-2023.

Upcoming shows include the RCA Graduate Show at Truman Brewery, London (2023), Knots & Tangles at Safehouse 1 & 2, London (2023).

Recipient of the Gilbert Bayes RCA Sculpture Award 2023.

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesSculpture (MA)RCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Ground, first and second floors

An image of my hand holding a chalk hag stone by the sea

My practice looks at themes of protection, care and resistance through a queer lens. An interest in folklore has given rise to the use of magically and spiritually protective folkloric objects within my work as a reach for protection that is outside of one’s control, absolving a person of guilt or shame when facing adversity. Protection, care and resistance look different for everyone, they may be small acts carried out in solitude or unapologetic revelations in public. In this way, through the material combination of soft textile and hard pieces such as cast objects and metal display methods, I employ both the physical and conceptual use of softness and hardness within my work, allowing one to be both delicate and gentle whilst also being strong and defiant. This multifaceted softness and hardness especially aims to showcase the rich and complex identities and lives of queer individuals, challenging stereotypical depictions of queerness looking and feeling a certain way for everyone.

Over the course of my MA, my work has become more three-dimensionally driven, using knit and textile work in subversive ways to navigate working spatially with non-traditional sculptural materials. Textile processes, especially knit, sit in my mind as one of my earliest memories of protection and care. My love for working with these materials and processes was gifted to me through generations of my family. I am grateful for the precious time spent with my Nana and Mum learning and honing my skills in textile work, it's presence in my practice bringing me closer to the women who raised me. Sharing the knowledge of making in this way is something I view as a form of care, protecting knowledge systems and skills for the use of future generations, alongside textile work being physically intertwined with modes of comfort and protection.