Passage through Dust and Stone
Solo Exhibition New York
June 4, 2015
In Jerusalem, watercolors, pencil, paper, brushes, and water in hand, I painted in the streets. Walking through the streets, caverns, tunnels, walls, and corridors captured my imagination. The quiet light on natural structures finds its expression in the rhythms of the my brush strokes and colors on canvas. These images were then developed further through imagination and memory in the studio.
Israel has its own kind of light. Its essence is colored by the golden rose and ochre earth tones. Within the stone courtyard in the Jewish quarters of the Old City, it suddenly rained. The past week had been riddled with rioting and terror attacks, yet the rain was a gift to the dry earth. Water fell in large drops onto the stones and all the subtle colors came forth with sparkling brilliance and then the crystalline limestone softened into a quiet gleaming. Within the intermix of dryness, color, and a back drop of violence, a beauty gleamed forth inspiring every brush stoke. I sought to express this shift through the language of paint, in the interplay of its transparent, translucent, and opaque nature.
I paint with colors that are made of earth minerals. In my paintings, minerals being suspended in fields of color once again become images of stones. The fluidity of watercolors solidify to form stone’s hard edges, a poetic tension, a dance.
Poem by Elizabeth ShortThe light rises early, the first thing of morning
Creeps up the steps on toes so soundless
Paints by the hour, siphons white to gold, blushes pink, shadows to a blue
The real alchemists of this earth are commoner than they dreamed
We wake, and by sun’s grace, we see
Follow in those footsteps to stairs
Which turn to tunnels so dark, we are blinded
For the moment, thrown undersea
Where there are no paths to our feet
Our steps sound-we never noticed they had-
We are silent but for them
And even their click-pat is too loud,
For this shadowed underground.
The walls are cool, we are hot-we are grateful.
Walls give way, as they always do, to great unwalled spaces
Unhallowed places no one cared to memorialize with building
We blind again, this time to light
The steps return, the paths come tripping back
We walk again, sounding the ring
Of our feet upon the earth.