As a visual artist, filmmaker and poetess, Maria Elena Bonet’s journey is one defined by creativity, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to her craft. Born in Minsk in 1986, she embarked on a quest for freedom that was steeped in the profound power of creativity. The central theme of her work is the exploration of transition and the union of different eras. With her unique ability to bridge the gap between the contemporary world and historical contexts, she creates a rich tapestry of art that speaks to both the personal and universal aspects of human existence.
One of her most recent projects, “Betrothal to the Sea,” is a remarkable exploration of this theme. Inspired by the literary work of Czesław Miłosz, particularly “The Issa Valley,” she delves into her own childhood memories. These formative experiences shaped her personality and found expression in her art. “The Issa Valley” became a source of inspiration, connecting her to her new home in Poland and allowing her to express her artistic vision in a deeply personal way using new techniques and tools. Maria Elena Bonet’s art is a fusion of different elements and techniques, each carefully chosen to convey her message. Manual photography is at the heart of her creative process. She employs the gum bichromate technique, utilizing acacia gum, coal, and ash to create artworks that capture the essence of birth, death, and rebirth. This process mirrors the cycles of nature and human existence, echoing the transformative power of the sea. In her own words, she explains that “such conditions of human movement and development are metaphorically expressed through the properties of the gum bichromate technique.” Maria Elena Bonet’s dedication to her craft has not gone unnoticed. With ten art projects to her name and a plethora of exhibitions, she has firmly established herself as a renowned artist across Europe. Her work has garnered several awards and scholarships, including the Artistic Scholarship of Villa Decius Institute for Culture in Poland for 2023. As a recipient of the scholarship, Maria Bonet spent a residency in Villa Decius for the month of August of 2023 under the scope of the institute’s project “Culture in Exile”, providing her with a space to immerse herself in her creative process and explore her art further. This period served as the backdrop for her video, in which she beautifully documented her artistic journey and experiences within the villa. Continuing her tradition of creating videos to chronicle her work since 2018, this video specifically captures her residency at Villa Decius, where she worked on her project and solo exhibition ‘Betrothal to the Sea’.
The video not only showcases the stunning beauty of Villa Decius but also provides a glimpse into Maria’s artistic philosophy. In her own voice, expressed with a Polish accent influenced by her native Belarus tongue, she articulates what art means to her, the artist’s path to creation, and how this intertwines with creativity. She offers insight into her own work and its significance, all while sharing the techniques she employs to bring her art to life. Maria Elena Bonet’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of art. Through her unique and deeply personal approach to creativity, she invites us to explore the boundaries of time, transition, and the enduring beauty of the human spirit. As you watch her video documenting her residency, you’ll gain insight into the mind and soul of an artist whose work is a celebration of life’s most profound moments.