Wishing Well II

A white, crumbly, crystallized, transparent substance… Salt inhabits a large part of Bianca Bondi’s work. It was in 2011, in the highlands of Cameroon, during a residency at Bandjoun Station (created and developed by artist Barthélémy Toguo) that the artist was led to reconnect with salt and fall in love with the material. This salt is at the heart of the rituals, scattered throughout the surrounding forest, and echoes the first initiations into magic that she practiced as a child in order to connect with kindred spirits. Protective, sacred and aesthetic, salt’s chemical properties transform the objects it touches. Applied like a balm that’s both beneficial and cleansing, salt is poured into water, where objects are immersed and crystals form on them. It gives them new life. A rite of purification, perhaps baptism and rebirth.

The objects chosen by the artist are excavated from the places where she works, sometimes related to domesticity – bed, ovens, kitchen, utensils… – and always reused, in a concern for ecological economy. Bianca Bondi creates unreal, ghostly worlds from materials she has mastered to a certain extent, but where surprises occur at every turn. By recycling elements gleaned from various terrains or flea markets, making these “magic potions” and revisiting the possible alchemy of colors, the artist intends to infuse her works with particular energies, developing auras of benevolence. The new skins her objects take on question the world’s durability and volatility. The Wishing Well II is a tribute to the art of fountains and the tradition of wells, through which people often thanked the gods with coins or other valuables. This act of thanksgiving could take place following a healing, to celebrate access to fresh water or to give thanks for any other improvement in daily life. In the context of our consumerist habit of asking for more, should we be thinking more about giving thanks? And so this little stool abandoned in his workshop becomes an offering box, a treasure chest where plants and shells are hidden, giving the place a baroque allure and the air of an esoteric grotto.

Bianca Bondi

Born in 1986 in Johannesburg, South Africa | Lives and works in Île-de-France, France

Bianca Bondi arrived in France from her native South Africa over fifteen years ago, with the desire to run an art venue and experiment with artistic practices in love with understanding the craft. She completed her entire curriculum at the École nationale supérieure d’art de Paris-Cergy (DNSEP in 2012), mixing a wide variety of mediums and teachings.

Her work has been exhibited at Plato (Czech Republic, 2017), TagTeam Studio (Norway, 2017), MoCo (France, 2018), Bozar (Belgium, 2019), Sferik (Mexico, 2019), Het HEM (Netherlands, 2020), and as part of the Biennales de Lyon in 2019 and Busan in 2020. She recently had a solo show at the Fondation Emerige in Paris, and is also exhibiting at the Kasmin Gallery in New York and the Frac Franche-Comté (2023).