Statement / Sacred Fragments

I recently traveled to Israel. As a Jewish artist, spirituality and religion never entered into my work until I saw the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. I was immediately drawn to their beauty and found them visually seductive. I was drawn to the shapes of the fragments, as well as the beauty of the decayed sheets of leather on which they were written. Although much has been discovered about the content of the scrolls, there is still a great deal of mystery surrounding them: when exactly were they written, who originally hid them in the caves and what do they reveal?

What intrigues me about the content of the scrolls is the fact that the text is both biblical and cultural. The manuscripts give us insight into behavior, military regulations, customs, political persecution and spiritual life, something that has always fascinated me.

I was also struck by the complexity of the political situation there. While visiting the Golan Heights, I photographed a sculpture of a kneeling soldier pointing a gun. This image has become a haunting motif in my work and creates a political edge to the otherwise unbiased nature of the work.

Another significant element in my work is my mother’s music. She was a professional violinist whose career had a great impact on my life. This represents my personal history; the scrolls represent my past history. The ancient Hebrew text coexists with the music while the music transcends language.

The books and prints on exhibit now are Polyester Plate Lithograhs ("Pronto Plates") and images done on photopolymer printmaking plates ("Solar Plates").


Detail from Fragments: Short Story, 2007

Polyester Plate Lithography is a process by which an image is put on the polyester plate which has a surface very much like a metal lithography plate. The plate can be imaged by a laser printer, a copy machine or worked on directly by hand with materials that are insoluble in water. The plate is then printed like a lithograph, with oil based inks.

My passion for turning my prints into artist’s books continues... previous work dealt with the linear quality of music and has now morphed into the linear quality that the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls present.