Ballenden has been producing Art and teaching since qualifying in Fine Art at The Wits Technicon in 1993 Cum Laude. Her work is in three major collections The Anglo American Collection, The Sasol Collection and The Johannesburg University Collection. Ballenden has had five solo exhibitions and has been on many group shows.
There have been breaks in Ballenden’s career due to family commitments.
In 2015 Ballenden had an Artists Residence at the Bag Factory for three months, then moved on to Ariel Empire Studios with Bronwyn Lace. At the end of March 2016 this group of Artists moved into August House, an old 5 storey office building in Doornfontein Johannesburg with over 50 contemporary artists, probably the largest group of artists in one building in South Africa.
Ballenden’s abstract works have evolved from beautiful sad drawings which many times were deliberately destroyed with fire or cut up with a knife, as I felt the work was not good enough.
This destructive process has become a conscious way of working where I will lovingly deconstruct a failed drawing or ink painting and then reconstruct the cut pieces of paper and raw canvas into new abstract work.
Working in August House has influenced my work in many ways, when I look out of my window I photograph the busyness of the poor and the unkept structures of the building which is often a starting point for my work.
The brokenness of what I witness around me in town is often a reflection of how I feel about myself and a realisation of how I am not alone in this shared life journey.
Website of South African Artists