Diane Durant works with image, text, and found objects to tell true stories, from paddling rivers and road trips to all the everyday stops in between. More often than not, she finds beauty in the boring and eats cake for breakfast. Diane is a graduate of Baylor University (BFA ’01), Dallas Theological Seminary (MA/BC ’04), and the University of Texas at Dallas (MA ’07, PhD ’13) where she currently serves as Senior Lecturer in Photography. She is the former president of 500X Gallery in Dallas and past editor of The Grassburr, The Rope, Sojourn, and Reunion: The Dallas Review. Her photographs have been exhibited coast to coast, from San Francisco and Seattle to New York and Vermont, with a few stops in the Midwest along the way. In 2015, Diane took her adventuring to Wyoming as the Artist-in-Residence at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
Between Here and Cool
It all started with a divorce. And a title. Like Ed Ruscha’s “Twentysix Gasoline Stations,” “Between Here and Cool” arose out of a phrase stuck in her head like a bull nettle stuck to her sock. (Rub cow manure on a bull nettle sting, her grandmother would say.) She had to do something with it—with that insatiable desire to get in the car and leave the past behind—and so she drove. Traveling the back roads and blue highways, it was 5,926.4 miles between here and Cool—between Cool, Texas; Cool, California; Cool, Iowa; and home again. Boldly, and sometimes foolishly, Diane encountered the American landscape and its dreams, pushing her own automobility far beyond what she ever thought possible (actual and metaphorical) as a single mom of a toddler and two cats. In the grand tradition of the American road story, she documented her 18-day experience through image and text, relic and road-trip ephemera, giving a woman’s voice and vision to an otherwise male-dominated genre. What happened out there, in a short list: 1 moving violation (warning); 30 minutes lost at a Border Patrol checkpoint; 2 more Border Patrol checkpoints; 1 wedding ceremony; 1 friend’s birthday (missed); 1 sleepless night with furniture barricading the motel room door (long story); at least 4 more long stories; 18 souvenir t-shirts; 22 souvenir coffee mugs (Wyoming has the best coffee mugs.); 1 evening worrying about the upcoming 3 days in the Grand Canyon; 3 days in the Grand Canyon; 1 Firestone 15″ 195/65R15 tire (flat); 2 mechanics; 29 postcards; 46 (roughly) dropped calls; 1/4 lb of Green’s Creek Gruyere (She left her cheese in Marfa.); 6.2 miles run around area 51; 17 stops for gas; 14 motel beds; 54 meals; 6 cameras; 1 light meter (lost); 56 rolls of film; more than 1 way to go; more than 1 dead end. But don’t just take her word for it; she has proof…
To view more of Diane’s work please visit her website.