Barbara Balfour

Barbara_BalfourBarbara Balfour Barbara first engaged with clay at a typical adult evening class at the YMCA in Thompson, Manitoba.  Because of that  simple choice of a leisure activity her life took an extraordinarily different direction. To pursue the ‘clay experience’, she attended the University of Manitoba and graduated with a B.F.A.(Honours) in 1981.  Following that and while living near Stonewall, Manitoba,  Barbara had the opportunity to join The Stoneware Gallery and her artistic profile has flourished on many levels, during her membership. Although clay invites limitless possibilities with it’s processes, shapes  and surfaces, Barbara’s work is primarily hand-built with earthenware.  Her designs and sensitive mark-making have become the signature of her work’s identity and are the evidence of her nature. Leaves…flowers…rocks…fossils…moss…bugs…architecture and landscapes.  All these inevitably influence the details, textures and images that inform her work.  She is compelled to ‘decorate’.  Whether it is north of the 55th parallel, or in the south Interlake region of the province, or wherever she travels and spends time… she observes, gathers and stores information and materials that will inevitably inspire a future project. The exquisite works of this artist have been collected and awarded around the world. Through the years Barbara has participated in exhibitions, competitions and workshops in Canada, Japan, Australia, United States, England, the Bahamas and Korea. “Clay remains a serious focus in my life and for the most part I embrace it’s enchanting properties and possibilities.  It is the perpetual exploration, successes and failures that continue to sustain my interest, curiosity and creativity.  Ultimately what endures and remains inspiring and gratifying in this pursuit is that the work can be shared with others.  It has the ability to affect and even grace our everyday lives. To have… or to hold …or to use… an object made by hand out of the most basic material literally, on this earth, is a joy!”