Helen Durant's lifelong love and pursuit of art has led her on exciting travels and colorful adventures. From her early childhood in Atlanta, GA., she played outdoors in the woods and creeks surrounding her home. During adolescence she spent 3 years in school in Baltimore, Md. Durant recognized her love of nature would take her somewhere that would support her sensitivity to the animal world. As she grew into adulthood drawing was her constant companion.
From formal painting classes at the old Atlanta School of Art to her long-time studio at Goat Farm, Durant invented her own ways of translating the world around her. Though mostly informally trained, Durant honed her skills recording her life through drawing. Durant found her voice expressing the gestures, energies and spirits of those animals and people surrounding her, not with a camera, but with graphite and paper. By catching her children at play or simply reading quietly she became adept at seizing the essence of a moment, capturing a fleeting move.
Her travels have taken her to Europe, Africa and multiple journeys out to the Western United States. The landscape and the environs of these places all became fodder for Durant’s later work.
From her studio at the Goat Farm, she observed the goats outside her window. The goats inspired an extended series of works, which continue to this day. A trip to New Mexico in 2003 and a safari to Kenya in 2008 stirred her spirit and added much new material from which to draw. Her love for 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 struggles 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 States and abroad. A recent relocation in 2107 to Savannah, Ga. broadened her vision to include the history and architecture of Savannah as well as the spirits of the low country.
Her need to express an awareness and understanding the vital role animals play in our ecosystem called her to explore the wildness of the American West and all its creatures. It is this wildness which still lives buried inside us that is explored in her most recent show in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.