Barbara French Duzan
I began my artistic career by working on paper and canvas using watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil and graphite. In 2000 I felt inspired to take a sculpting class and my work moved quickly in this new and exciting direction.
The result of that inspiration has been that all of the work that I do now is sculptural. Always passionate about animals I wanted to show them respect I have always felt while simultaneously maintaining a sense of play and adventure.
I soon discovered that plastilene clay to is the perfect medium to depict birds and mammals impressionistically and often with a touch of whimsy. my goal is to give the viewer a sense of movement that is frozen in time.
Recently I have been embellishing some of the clay forms with beads and shells and they lend the bronze sculptures finished with this texture a lighthearted and unique quality. approximately half of my current pieces are created using the clay for bronze
About the African Work:
My art is my journal. I study the animals and birds around me. I can’t resist collecting treasures while hiking or beachcombing and fill my pockets with everything from seedpods and pine cones to driftwood, sea glass, rocks and shells. In my mind I see images of animals in whimsical human poses, in graceful movement or alert watchfulness. My goal is to capture a moment in time and let the viewer’s imagination finish the story. The finished work reflects my impressions of nature as well as documenting the paths I have traveled.
I work mainly on three-dimensional pieces but in two very diverse styles. My more traditional work is in clay for bronze. The tactile nature of the medium allows me to capture expression and motion; to portray my subject in an impressionistic style as well as with a touch of whimsy.
My love of color and an interest in beadwork led me in a totally different direction. I began creating one of a kind animals by placing clay, beads and found objects on taxidermy forms in a mosaic-like technique. The surprising discovery that taxidermy forms are available for animals as small as a cottontail rabbit or a 15” tall African Dik Dik antelope to the largest African mammal, has informed my creation of these fanciful creatures. I imagine the beaded surface as a wildly colorful camouflage which isn’t enough to keep these animals safe in the wild. These pieces mimic the prized catches of trophy hunters but no animal loses its life in the process.