You are on page 1of 2

A conversation with Orit Hofshi Cessation 2013

What are some of the themes that you raise in your artwork? Time, political or historical, is always a concern. The imagery drawn refers to the past and the present without directly addressing the future via a conceptual collage of newspaper clippings, personal photographs, and my own imagination. Although the Middle East most definitely influences my intentions, the art itself has no specific regional context and yet alludes to the phenomena of survival, relocation, migration and displacement. As an artist living in Israel, I cannot avoid these issues of constant conflict. What do you consider to be your role as an artist? Once I release my art into the world, it is not in my sole possession anymore. I hope to raise questions in my art, rather than aspire to provide answers. As an artist, do you feel lucky to make a career out of what you love to do? I challenge myself to push my own boundaries continuously. Passion isnt enough. You require fresh concepts, passion, ambition, and hard work. How would you describe the media of your art? If there are two categories of artists those who draw and those who paint I would consider myself part of the drawing camp. I apply some drawing-based technique in every process, be it wood or paper. There is something very direct about the effect of the marks that I make. For prints, I draw first on the wood and, then, using woodcut tools, I draw by carving into the planks. The drawings are therefore only a reference as the creative process continues when I carve. The paper you use is enormous and appears very delicate and unique. I have found an Israeli paper-maker that practices a Japanese method. He grows Mulberry and Abaca trees (of the banana family) and generates pulp as a combination of the two. Oftentimes people have a misconception regarding rice paper. Rice is merely used as a paste an adhesive. The longer the inner fibers of the bark of the tree, the more flexible the paper produced. He creates the paper from scratch to meet my needs.

17 North Venice Boulevard Venice, CA 90291 310.281.0961 shulamitgallery.com

Your work has been described as sculptural. Would you agree? Yes, my interest in three-dimensional and wall installations evolved during the making of my last few series. My works definitely have a sculptural quality in that they become an object and enveloping space in their totality, rather than a two-dimensional work on paper. What is the process of art making like for you? I make very few works a year. It takes me months to make each work. I create my pieces in a tiny studio all by myself. I dont have any assistants. Inspiration doesnt usually on command. I need to reach a point of emotional distance, perspective and understanding of events. I need my own cessation reflection -- to be able to comprehend and digest. During events of crisis, I am observant and listening, only later, can I analyze, respond, and construct an image. What was your inspiration for Cessation? Living in Israel, I am frequently faced with moments of turmoil and also affected by similar issues in other regions; Cessation is about the realizations of normality and quietude that separate these moments. The quiet moments are only temporary. There has been tension and there will be tension again, both locally and internationally. Who is the figure depicted in Cessation? The individual in the composition is a Colombian artist who visited Israel. I toured him the Western Galilee Mountains, and as I watched him sitting under a tree, drawing in his sketchbook, he was able to immerse himself in nature, time, and place.

17 North Venice Boulevard Venice, CA 90291 310.281.0961 shulamitgallery.com