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White works (mixed media)

Wrapping for pains

mixed media 8x195x73cm

This installation consisting of 3 sections with a light table in the middle, comprises many materials (ceramics, glass, rubber, eggshell, metal, plaster, felt, Fimo etc) and is an introspective review of painful life experiences.

A Blessing on your Head

20,000 sheets of paper, acrylic paint, gold leaf, wood 114x50x34cm

This is a work about blessing, the special personal prayer in Hebrew that fathers and mothers and often grandparents too, with their hands on the child’s head, give their sons and daughters or grandchildren, on Friday evening, after synagogue and before dinner.

The text reads, for sons:
ישמך אלוהים כאפרים וכמנשה
May the Lord bless you like Ephraim and Menashe

And for daughters:
ישמך אלוהים כשרה רבקה רחל ולאה
May the Lord bless you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah

Then follows the famous ברכת כהנים , the Priestly Blessing, taken from the Bible, Numbers 6: 24-26. This is also the oldest known Biblical text, found in an ancient grave from 7-6th century BCE in Katef Hinnom in Jerusalem, engraved in Hebrew on small silver scrolls, and now on display at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem:

יְבָרֶכְךָ ה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
יָאֵר ה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
יִשָּׂא ה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם
May the Lord lift His face unto you and give you peace.

Jewish parents (and grandparents) have been blessing their children (and grandchildren), including adult children, like this for many generations with a separate blessing each week, for each child. This prayer represents a parent’s best hopes for his child, that the child should follow in the path of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and should find favour with the Lord. It acts as a conduit for forgiveness and love.

My work consists of some 20,000+ pairs of paper hands, based on my own hands, representing generations of parental blessing and prayer. Each right hand represents the prayer for sons’ welfare, and each left hand is for daughters. The overall height is symbolic of a child’s height. Each paper hand was cut out by hand and piled up in a column. The perennial blessing appears at the top in gold leaf.

These and those (are the words of the living God)

porcelain, CDs, perspex 12x10x78cm

These and Those (are the Words of the Living G-d; Talmud Bavli Eruvin 13b, Gitin 6b) 12x10x78cm [porcelain, CDs, perspex] (2)

This work is inspired by quotations in Talmud Bavli Eruvin 13b, and in Gitin 6b.
The CDs represent the Tanach (Jewish Bible), the Talmud (Babylonian and Jerusalem) and Shutim (more recent Halachic responsa).

A ritual object for my pregnant daughter

papier mâché, gold leaf 10x35x35cm

Ritual Object for Pregnant Daughter cooler 10x35x35cm[paper, gold leaf] (Copy)

I designed a piece to hold a distillation of some of my thoughts towards my daughter, when she was expecting her first child. In particular, I sought to give expression to a kind of watchful responsibility that I felt, and I intended the work as an initiation piece or mark of passage as my daughter moved into the next phase of her life. She was already an individual, a Jew, a woman and a wife, and she was soon to become a mother.
For these 5 areas of life I created a set of nesting plates that are out of balance, symbolising the difficulty of holding all aspects of life appropriately aligned all the time. As one area gains dominance, another shifts to the background, and of the 5, motherhood offers the greatest challenge of all.
I have chosen as symbols an eye, to represent the individual, the innermost identity; a pair of candlesticks to represent Judaism; a bra to represent womanhood; a wedding ring to symbolise marriage; and a baby stroller as a token of motherhood, the latest and outermost identity.
I do not expect to teach my daughter anything that she does not already know, but I do hope to encourage her with the insight that the balance between these identities changes all the time, and that that is alright.

Grandmother’s bones

earthenware, linen, printed paper 15x45x25cm