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Against the Evil Eye

Against the Evil Eye

(Neged Ayin Hara: נגד עין הרע)

Bronze, glass, metal, velvet 9x13x10cm 


This small sculpture consists of a bronze cast of a child’s hand and in it, a glass eye.

These lie on a bed of blue velvet in a lidded glass box, evoking a benign but unnerving burial. 

The eye, box and velvet are forms of ready-mades, but the hand was cast in bronze from my son’s hand.


The “evil eye” is an ancient superstition which Jews share with others, the idea being that a jealous or vindictive look can harness evil spirits and direct them against a particular person. People consider themselves or their dear ones vulnerable to the “evil eye” when they wear new clothes or jewellery, look especially attractive, move into a new home, have a baby or other celebration, or do particularly well in some sphere- anything that might provoke jealousy in others. In order to garner protection against this “evil eye”, all sorts of amulets and practices have developed, including painting the outside of the house blue, hanging a “hamsa” hand indoors or wearing a red band around the wrist.

Here I have developed a new idea: the clear blue glass eye gazes straight at the viewer from the safety of the strong, unthreatening but bizarre child’s hand, all within the glass box, presented like a precious treasure. Together the image is resonant of the grave and a connection from beyond.  

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