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Elizabeth Jane Balcomb

Elizabeth Balcomb is a self-taught South African artist known for her haunting figurative sculptures.

Balcomb  grew up on the banks of the Umgeni River in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa. Intensely drawn to animals and the natural world, she studied Nature Conservation and spent much of her youth communing with wild creatures, some of them human.

After graduating she worked at various nature reserves in South Africa and Zambia, focussing on environmental education, before becoming a full-time artist in 2010. Her emergance as an artist was during a period when she lived for over a decade in an isolated log cabin with her partner and son.

Much of Balcomb’s work is a re-interpretation of classical sculpture using the language of the Renaissance to explore and expose elements of human nature. Her narrative incorporates aspects of dying and rebirth and matters of identity and personal value. She views the artist's path as an existential conundrum, constantly questioning the meaning of her work in relation to her own value as a human being and that of the natural world.

Therianthropes are a recurring theme in her work.

Balcomb lives and works between her 2 homes/studios in Durban and in the mist belt forest of Byrne Valley in the Kwazulu-Natal midlands of South Africa.

She works in clay and casts limited editions into bronze.


‘Elizabeth Balcomb’s sculptures hold an intriguing quality that speaks of stories from lost times that are revitalised through her vision and own personal story. Such eloquence of form allows the viewer to tack on their own stories, sharing in the valuable process of making sense of and drawing meaning from the work’.

House and Leisure Magazine

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Sep 18, 2020, 8:37 AM
Small female figure with an Okapi head