I remember so well, when, some ten years ago, Barbara Duran came to the course of animation film which we held in Rome with Gianini, during a three months period, together with about fifty other students.
The simplicity of her drawings, so essential and poetic, had touched me immediately and I was sure that those little houses, those stars, those objects, almost ingenuous in their simplicity should have become animated, flown in the sky, transformed themselves in other forms, disappeared and appeared again…
Indeed I wasn’t wrong and Barbara certainly could have told extraordinary tales to children with that medium, if she hadn’t been confronted with all the practical difficulties which animation film entails.
Thus we must imagine her suns, her birds, her planets, which appear and disappear, flying through the sky, which break down to reassemble again, and pass in front of our ecstatic eyes as if we were a child again.
And this is the charm of Barbara Duran’s world, as she takes us to our first childhood, where we rediscover a world once forgotten, but which stayed in a little corner within ourselves, and we feel light, light as her characters between earth and sky. Even her writing is light and delicate as her watercolours, and she helps us, not to understand the drawings, which speak for themselves, but to give a name to a dog, a chicken, a flower, to suggest a path, an action, to stimulate our fantasy.
It’s funny that I speak of “us” and not of the children for whom these drawings, these little tales, are made: but if they stir our fantasy so vividly, if they wake up again the child in us who maybe had fallen asleep, imagine how much children must like them, those children not yet made cunning by Japanese cartoons or by violent American drawings.
But I have enormous faith in children: they are omnivorous, they look at everything, the good and the bad; but then luckily they know how to choose and I am sure they will choose Barbara’s suns with petals, her little squared houses, the kites, the pink clouds, the flowers, the tiny animals and all that is… and also all that is not…