Toni-ann Ballenden Before 2007 | | Art in South Africa
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Inside Outside the House 2001 | Millennium Gallery

Feeling a strong need to heal my soul, I chose to study a foundation course in Art Therapy 1998. My experience during this course, gave me permission to play in art like a child, this enabled me to get in touch with, and heal a painful part of myself. I began to like myself, I could begin to trust the world around me, and just as importantly the course gave me a unique and exciting approach to my art, which was quite different from my previous body of work, “Alone” exhibited in 1995.

The collaged paintings, photographs, and monoprints and one drawing are a diary of my life experiences. I see my life and my art as inseparable in that one feeds the other, this helps create a peace and order, that was previously lacking in my life.

The paintings are made up of many layers, as are our lives. I paint with brushes, sponges, my hands, my fingers, I glue on photographs, and sculpt plaster of paris images of a dog, a bed, and people. I play some more, scribbling with crayons and scumbling with more paint and so new images begin to appear on the canvas.

The creative process of my work, is about the accident, imagery it is seldom planed, I allow the work to hint at what needs to happen next, working from an unselfconscious place.

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