Abstract black ink landscapes seep through the fibers of the delicate, fragile paper on which I paint. The stains permeate the tissue, bleeding through to the other side, taking on a life of their own, delineating dynamic and dramatic storms or alternatively subtle vibrations of nature and the most minute whispers of existence. Juxtaposed over these monochromatic backdrops inspired by Japanese and Chinese traditions are fragments of images, creatures or objects distilled from her collected images, current or born from the physical and emotional landscapes of my childhood.
In my main body of works I engage in drawing and painting in ink and mixed technique on paper, in varying sizes, as well as drawing-based video art. Over the years I have created a number of separate series that intertwine, interconnect and separate into separate channels.
“My Blue Pencil” is an ongoing series born in the past year that reacts to “A Place”. Initially, the “place” was a social-based art project in the Arab city of Umm El Fahem. This is not just any geographical location or abstract landscape, it reverberates multiple cultural-social-political undercurrents. I work in blue pencil on white paper as a device to reference cultural memory, for example the blue carbon paper used to replicate data, memories of foreign places frozen in pastoral delft chinaware, or blue and white in the Israeli flag. In the drawing-based video “Foreign Tourist”, the drawings become fleeting views interspersed as vistas in the gaps between houses, but they are gone almost before you can register them. The intimate size of the drawings references touristic postcards, raising questions about viewing the Place from an outside position and interpreting it as “paintworthy” or “picturesque”.
Another ongoing series which was exhibited in two solo shows references dairy cows as actual imagery and as an allegory. In addition to being a symbol of the “working settlements” in Israel, which connects to my autobiography as a teenager on a kibbutz, this series examines different universal phenomena such as the way humans exploit animals, nature and fellow human beings. Capitalism and industrialism do not have any qualms as to the means employed to obtain more output and accumulate wealth. In industrial dairy farming this is evident from the separation of calves from their mothers through the disruption of natural hormonal systems. In my paintings, the cows’ disturbingly bulging udders (no larger than in real life) can also be read symbolically as a comment on the exploitation of women and of people in lower socio-economic strata or third-world countries.
In my third body of works, cows and milk connect with a previous ongoing series that I created using drops of water. Now I drop silky beads of milk onto paper forming what looks like a huge slab of white chocolate. Previously I created large waterfall installations out of tens of thousands of invisible water drops. Milk and water alike evaporate, molding the fiber to create a subtle imprint, and leaving microscopic sediments and organisms in their wake, memories of the liquid’s effect on and in the paper, charged with meaning. For example, in the installation at the Ein Shemer Ecological Greenhouse Project, I used water from the greenhouse’s spirulina algae ponds. Methodically dripping thousands of beads of liquid is a mindful and meditative act, something of myself is imbibed in the paper. This too is a direct continuation of my morning meditation paintings. That ongoing body of work includes hundreds of black ink paintings on Chinese xuan paper where I paint-draw in an automatic and abstract mode of action as the first act of the day. Many of these works, although painted intuitively, are in retrospect read as landscapes, corresponding with and mimicking the landscapes of my childhood, of my town, or of imagined places from the far east to the middle east where I live.