Renate Balda was born in 1955 in Plattling, Lower Bavaria. She lives and works in Waldkirchen, in the Bavarian Forest.
As early as 1983, while completing her course of studies in painting at the Kunstakademie Nürnberg, Renate Balda began working with clay, achieving as an autodidact near perfection in modeling ceramic forms. Clay, a material derived from soil, with a variety of consistencies, intrigued and encouraged her to use and shape it in a completely free and creative approach. Her research into primarily Korean, small bowls used in the tea ceremony, the goal of which was not to create “beauty” bur rather to put “life” into the form and let its unitary character emerge in the firing process, led to unusual results. Further experimentation led to the creation of rudimentary forms using various types of clay and sparse amounts of engobe. Without bottom sides, these “cylinders”, as she calls them, have no practical use. They function exclusively as a means for creating objects from formable materials. It is the spiritual nature of these elementary and yet so diverse works that fascinates the viewer.
In 2016 Renate Balda undertook an intensive analysis of the paintings of the Early Italian Renaissance. In this era the pervasive use of a gold ground effectively called attention to the pictorial events. The gold ground radiates intensity and clarity. With this insight, Renate Balda began working with goldleaf panels and protective edge gilding. She combines the goldleaf panels with finely colored works made with shellac ink on delicate Japan paper. These pieces are then attached to high-quality museum board. The interplay of the variously colored panels with the golden panels and with the ever-changing ambient light recalls the paintings of the 13th and 14th centuries.