Cultural Heritage

Artist residency of Belarusian photographer Maria Elena Bonet at Villa Decius, August 2023

About the residency:

As part of “Culture in Exile”, Villa Decius hosted a residency stay of talented Belarusian photographer Maria Elena Bonet, who throughout August in the villa’s spaces carried out her new artistic project inspired by the works of Czeslaw Milosz, particularly the work “The Issa Valley”. Maria Elena Bonet’s creative activities centered around the motif of the river, which appeared both in her previous art projects presented as part of “Culture in Exile”: “My River” and “Engagement with the Sea,” as well as in the works of the Polish Nobel Prize winner. During her stay in Cracow, the artist delved into the works of Czeslaw Milosz and visited places associated with his life.

About the artist:

Maria Elena Bonet

Born in Minsk, she graduated from the Belarusian Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2007, she has been focusing on analog photography, creating artworks using manual photographic processes, such as the gelatin-silver technique, chromate gum, tintype process, and cyanotype. Since 2017, he has been conducting original workshops in manual photography. Since 2018, she has been working on multimedia projects including photography, video, sound and light. Since 2019, she has been represented by art galleries in France and Spain.

In 2020, she was nominated for the State Prize for Fine Arts in Belarus: Art Photography. In solidarity with the censored artist and the victims of government violence in Belarus, she withdrew her candidacy.

In 2021, she was the winner of the Month of Photography in Grenoble, France. In the same year, the film “My River” was selected in the short film competition and screened at the ValdarnoCinema Film Festival in Italy. She also received a scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Gaude Polonia and came to Poland, where she now lives and works in Gdansk.

In 2022 she was awarded the Cultural Scholarship of the City of Gdansk. She has also begun researching the history of analog photography in Belarus and Poland at the University of Warsaw. 





* Project co-financed by the Foundation for International Solidarity within the framework of Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

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