Barbara French Duzan

Sculptures

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Barbara Duzan

Artist Statement

I think of my art as a journal. I can’t resist collecting “treasures” when hiking or

walking the beaches. I fill my pockets with everything from seed pods and pine

cones to shells and sea glass. I read about the beliefs of many cultures and how they

affect the individuals. These objects and ideas make their way to my studio and

then to my art as a reflection of my impressions of the world around me, and the

I find the world of nature excites and enchants me. Both flora and fauna invite me to

study their forms and behaviors, but animals are the vehicles through which I share

these passions. My goal is to captivate the viewer with the gestures and expressions

that make each subject seem to be unique while at the same time representing their

species as a whole. Sculpting in clay for bronze is the best medium for me to share

their beauty and their quirks. It allows me to work in an impressionistic style with

a touch of whimsy. I judge a piece to be successful if it makes the viewer smile, they

In addition to sculpting in clay, I use taxidermy forms as a base and clay and plaster

of paris to transform them into animal heads that are uniquely my own. I cover the

heads in mosaic-like patterns of clay, beads and found objects. Originally, they were

a representation of camouflage for protecting prey animals. The irony is that they

end up as a trophy on the wall anyway. The heads allow me to explore ideas of how

inanimate objects influence beliefs and behaviors in individuals and cultures. One

has only to don a mask to know the power of assuming a whole new personality.

Wishes are made to objects such as trees with the expectation of fulfillment. The

sculptures can represent the power of a mask, containers of sacred substances,

arbiters of disputes, granters of wishes and powerful protectors or guardians.