Toni-Ann Ballenden

‘Toni -Ann Ballenden has been working in downtown Johannesburg for the last three years. Immersed in the processed daily life of the city, its busyness, chaos and dirt, Ballenden has spent her time reflecting on the vibrancy around her. Far away from the prosaic suburban studio she worked in for many years, Ballenden’s End Street Studio is a space not dissimilar conceptually speaking to the informal recycling depos scattered through the streets beneath her End Street work space. It is a place where her thoughts, her drawings, paintings, sculptures and the detritus of her mind are processed, recycled, cut-up, reorganised and finally re-birthed. As such, Ballenden’s new work is deeply responsive to the place around her. Sometimes brutal, sometimes sensitive, upon completion of each masterful piece Ballenden is able to capture the portrait of Johannesburg with uncanny likeness. To Ballenden the ‘city-of-gold’ so ubiquitously used when describing Johannesburg is not only a description about its history of mining and its mineral wealth, it’s also a description of its burgeoning creativity and immense productivity carried out by its people every single day.’

– Rhett Martyn

Image: Courtesy of the artist