Most artists don’t worry about where their electricity and water are coming from but for Penong-based Cindy Durant this is constantly on her mind.
Living on the far west coast of South Australia, just inland from the famous Cactus Beach, Durant and her husband live entirely ‘off-grid’.
With their house and studio built on a hill, the surrounding vista is remote and rugged landscape with a view to the ocean. The huge sky, the sand-hills, the sea and the scrub are rich inspiration for Durant’s practice spanning glass, metal, jewellery, mixed media and printmaking.
Artists are very receptive and alert to their environments,” Durant says. “I am inspired by nature, where I live, by my travels and my childhood.”
Originally from California, Durant relocated to Australia in 1983 and has worked as a full-time artist for the last 27 years. Her main practice has been in glass, creating sculptural objects, functional pieces, wall hangings and light installations. She has received many commissions in Australia and overseas including several pieces for Prince Phillip that hang in Buckingham Palace.
With an incredibly active and curious mind, Durant is finding her current inspiration and livelihood from jewellery and print-making. She has taught herself silversmithing, working vitreous enamel on metal; she is passionate about lapidary and is learning about the process to cut and polish stones.
Durant has a captive audience for her screen-printing at the Penong General Store, where her original designs on t-shirts, hoodies and tote bags are enormously popular with tourists. She is well known in the area where her local community are surfers, fisherman and beach people. Durant loves being part of this world but also stays very connected to friends and artists in Adelaide and across the globe.
Creative balance is important to Durant and she is stimulated by sharing her knowledge and conducts regular workshops at her home studio and other locations. To refine her own skills, she is undertaking a mentorship with renowned jeweller Regine Schwarzer. Supported by the Guildhouse Catapult program, Durant will spend an intensive five days in Schwarzer’s Adelaide Hills studio in early February and says, “I will learn new techniques, we’ll discuss ideas and Regine will push me out of my comfort zone to work with stones, settings and soldering.”
Guildhouse is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting South Australian visual artists, craftspeople and designers to develop and maintain sustainable careers.
The Adelaide Review is a media partner of Guildhouse.