Parochet

The original parochet, originally from the 17th century (perhaps a later copy)

The paintings in this series (from 2003-2005) are visual variations on a Torah ark curtain (parochet) from the Jewish Museum in New York, in which both design and imagery are similar to Moslem prayer rugs. The encounter with a ritual object in which Judaism and Islam are so interconnected provided me with a painterly way to explore the national and religious conflict that surrounds me, as well as questions of faith and prayer.

As the series progressed, the dedication on the original carpet in which a father commemorates his deceased daughter entered the works in various forms, while the text that ornamented the original was replaced by other prayers, appearing in some works in both Hebrew and Arabic. The imagery and ornamentation of the original curtain also underwent transformations: it turned into a rug on which one prostrates, a mirror, a window looking out on to the landscape, a patch of earth being kissed, and finally a small grave.

Prayer Rug 1

Prayer Rug 1, 2003, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

 

Prayer Rug 2

Prayer Rug 2, 2003, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

 

Prayer Rug 3

Prayer Rug 3, 2003, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

 

Prayer Rug 4

Prayer Rug 4, 2003, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

 

Prayer Rug 5

Prayer Rug 5, 2004, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

 

Prayer Rug 6

Prayer Rug 6, 2004, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

The image of the person kissing the earth that appears in Prayer Rug 5 led to the following studies:

Study 1

Study 1, 2004, oil on canvas, 125 X 80 cm

 

Study 2

Study 2, 2004, oil on canvas, 99 X 54.5 cm

 

Study 3

Study 3, 2004, oil on canvas, 99 X 54.5 cm

 

Study 4

Study 4, 2004, oil on canvas, 99 X 54.5 cm

Finally, Hasna, who appears in the Welcoming Guests series, helped me imagine two praying women, one Jewish and one Moslem, each one facing a different place.

Two Directions

Two Directions of Prayer, 2005, oil on canvas, 50 X 100 cm