Helen Durant has been experimenting with paint, torn paper, graphite, and found objects for most of her life. From a formal painting class at the old Atlanta School of Art to her studio at Goat Farm, and now to the marshlands of Savannah, Durant has invented her own ways of translating the world around her.
An art teacher at boarding school encouraged Durant’s passion for art, teller her to follow her heart. A trip to Europe exposed her to the works of the great masters. She stayed with her cousin in Cezanne’s chateau noir, in Aix-en-Provence. Later, at the museum school in Boston, she received more traditional training. Two summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with Henry Hensche broadened her world of color.
Durant married, and her growing family became the subject of many drawings and paintings. As her children grew up and her time became more her own, Durant spent more time in her studio at the old Murray Mill, now called the Goat Farm, observing the goats outside her window. The goats inspired an extended series of works. Her travels to the American West and a safari to Kenya stirred her spirit and added much new material from which to draw.
Durant’s love of animals has been evident throughout her career. Her concern for the environment and its wildlife has deepened into a passion for conservation. Her love of wolves and concern for the stuggles they now face as result of misconceptions and myth has moved her to produce an entire body of work on the subject in the last several years.
Helen Durant has exhibited widely in the United States. In Atlanta she has shown her work for many years in some of the best venues in the city. Her work can be seen in many public, corporate, and private collections throughout the United Stated and abroad.
“Durant works in mixed media, primarily charcoal and acrylics, sometimes adding collage elements, such as newspaper. Her subjects are most often figures or animals. Durant is interested in the role played by the unconscious in her work, and she strives to not force the content, but rather to let it emerge out of the process of painting itself. And Durant’s creative process always began with drawing, which she calls her ‘first love.’”