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 emergence 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.
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.