Barbara Duran

Maria Teresa Benedetti

Monadi 2001

Landscapes of memory

Hills in profile, grass blades, tussocks of vegetation, silent waters, and slender tree trunks raised against a mute horizon, bent by the wind or absorbed as wounded earth, they become the object of poetic and existential meditation, and are the mediator to recognize the voice of the soul.

Barbara Duran elaborates in small slips of paper the natural element with grace and obsession, together with a cultural awareness of ancient Italian ancestry. Giotto like hills or assumed fourteen century polyptych, they are strained by a conscience restlessly modernized, in the search of a beloved nature, wounded, dreamed of, with an eye as the center of light, through fragments endowed with their own independent life. Yet cadenced by a series of references and echoes, ready to compose themselves in a cosmic image.

A polyptych of 36 ‘formelle’, an enjoyable totality born from an idea of uniqueness, alternating isolated patterns or assembled in diptychs, triptychs. The Leibniz theme of the space, a place of coexistence of multiple forces, underlines the relation between the complexity of the world and the depth of the interior dimension. Signs of a universe identified in its frail essence, become the depositary of a living and active secret, in a time not imminent but which allows communicating with the invisible space all around us.

Absorbed in a place without limits, the artist touches the intensity of being.
Made to form the point of conjunction between image and thought, Barbara’s sheets ask that we live through them, make them flow to us freely, and at the same time to be overcome by their awesome quality. Microcosms based on the expressive intensity of a few elements, they suggest a cosmology, as for the Zen painter a bamboo shoot, a bough in the wind, a few reeds on the shore could indicate harmony, shaped around a mystical feeling.

The sharp choice of a subject induces meditation, the capacity of concentrating the substance of things in one space, ruled yet at the same time infinite. As every creative mind, the artist claims for herself the capacity of inhabiting intimately the forms she creates.

Let us look at them, these forms defined by bent horizons, surrounded by a light which expands in skies humored by the softness of profiles suddenly grown darker. Lands that don’t speak of joy, but are encased in a bare essentiality and in some way an aching. No exuberance in a nature sensed as drained entity, perhaps a stage for far away storms, now calm again, yet inhabited by a grume, inevitably tormented, and a fatal concurrence of cosmic events.
On the big canvases which conclude the artist’s work, a dazzling luminous body, ectoplasmatic, surrounded by shadow, as if still shielded in the obscure womb, of which dreams are made of.

Maria Teresa Benedetti