Toni-Ann Ballenden spent three months as an Artist in Residence at the Bag Factory in 2015, before moving on to Ariel Empire Studios with Bronwyn Lace. At the end of March 2016, this group of artists relocated to August House, an old five-story office building in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, with over 50 contemporary artists, making it the largest group of artists in one building in South Africa.
Since qualifying Cum Laude with a National Higher Diploma in Fine from the Wits Technikon in 1993, Ballenden has been creating art and teaching.
The work of Toni-Ann Ballenden began with figurative art and later oscillated toward abstract art, only to remain within the art genre. Ballenden constructs her work through a creative process characterised by burning and cutting to form something new. Ballenden begins with the act of destruction; her epilogue is a tender reassemblage of art and the self. To Ballenden, the catharsis resides in the reconstruction toward wholeness. Ballenden’s art process is rooted in artistic sublimation, which is an act of dismantling and piecing together, that functions as a source of therapy to touch on the heart of the grit and grace of subjective experience. Ballenden’s art is the capture of an intimately conscious reflection on observation and encounters that are personal yet resoundingly universal to the human condition.
Exhibition and Awards History
Her work can be found in three major collections, namely 2 drawings in the Anglo-American Collection (1994), the Sasol Collection (2004), and the Johannesburg University Collection. Toni has exhibited in nine solo exhibitions and multiple group exhibitions.
1992: First Prize Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Award.
1993: Wits Tech Collection.
1994: Anglo American Collection.
2004: The Sasol Collection.
2015: Artists Residency Bag Factory Fordsburg, Johannesburg.
2017-2018 Chairman Bjorn Ronneberg, The Astrup Fernley Art Museum.
2018-2019: SAFFCA, Pierre Lombard Collection.