Born 1974 in Italy, Maria Rebecca studied Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. Her works are shown all over the world in personal and group exhibitions, galleries and art fairs, public and private collections. She was awarded with several international prizes in the United States, Korea, France and Italy and held lectures and participated at symposiums in several European countries, just to named few Boston University (USA), Hull University (UK), Maraya Art Center (UAE), Progr Zentrum (Switzerland), Genoa University (Italy), etc.
The Italian visual artist Maria Rebecca Ballestra lives and works in nomadic condition. Her work is focused on the reprocessing and resetting of social, political and environmental themes and on synthesizing ethno-cultural codes, investigated during journeys and several artist residencies program all around the world.
Difficult to say if one of her great subjects “Journey” is the original of her travels or if her numerous voyages inspire the subject. In any case her works are dealing with “meditation of history, traditions and ancient customs in different countries” as “an instrument to escape Eurocentric perspective and to offer to the public a new point of active observation and criticism.” (Rebecca’s statement on her website)
Elaborated trans-disciplinary projects, which emphasize communicative and social aspects, set into artistic practise in site and context specific installation, relational projects, performances, video and photography.
Her last production Journey into Fragility, was oriented towards the perception of the future in relation to climate change and multiple human interventions in the natural environment and sense of insecurity and anxiety that characterizes this new millennium. The two years long project Journey into Fragility was inspired by the The Manifesto for Earth and the Human Beings, conceived and created by the Italian writer Massimo Morasso, consisting of twelve statements to constructively reset the issues of the environmental crisis. With Journey into Fragility Maria Rebecca has developed twelve projects in twelve different places around the world, with the aim to build a constructive dialogue on the environment and the value of living on Earth. After travelling trough four continents, the project was concluded with an installation in Venice during the last Venice Biennale, and with several exhibitions, lectures and workshops in Europe and USA.
Recently Maria Rebecca Ballestra have started a new long term project, Echoes of the Void. Over two years (2015 - 2017) this project will investigate the geological, cultural, spiritual, environmental meaning of the wastelands in the world. Different levels of topographical transformation will be considered, including desertification by industrialization and globalization. During this collaborative project, multimedia art works will be produced by co-operating with researchers of science and humanities.
Echoes of the void will investigate the world largest deserts which are in almost every continent, including the two biggest, Arctic and Antarctic also most important as they paradoxically are our water reservoir, now threaten by our globalized modernity.