Category Archives: Carmel Ilan

Eretz Israel museum paper exhibition

Israeli Paper Art exhibition 2013 – Paper Art View

I am thrilled to have attended the opening evening of the Israeli Paper Art exhibition 2013 at the Eretz Israel Museum. What I can say is this: the rich diversity of creative paper artworks created by twenty select Israeli-based artists captivated me and would not let go.

Unlike the first paper exhibition held in 2008, whose focal point was to represent the historical aspects of paper art, this exhibit depicts the current state of contemporary Israeli paper art. A wonderful job was done by Dr. Sorin Heller, the highly acclaimed curator of visual art. One of Heller’s criteria for selecting the works on display was that the medium of paper be an ongoing and significant component in the works of the chosen artists. Heller divided the exhibition into three sections: paper as a material for translating reality; converting the paper object – from representation of reality to creation of art, and lastly, combined use of traditional and contemporary techniques.

I was touched by how this exhibition glorifies paper, and I am evenly impressed by the new approaches and techniques that utilize paper in a wide variety of media such as installations, objects, sculptures, photographic paper, paper cutting, weaving and folding. To quote Heller, “The exhibit presents working in paper as a kind of obsessive occupation and an almost devotion – a kind of perfectionism which is expressed in this material particular”.

I strongly recommend visiting the exhibition, which will be held until March 14th, 2014. This despite the fact that on a personal level, these eyes would have liked to have enjoyed more paper delights! Also, I think it will be a real shame to wait another five years for the next Paper Art exhibition. Paper art is thriving here in Israel (and worldwide) at a rapid speed. And I’m truly happy about that!

Here is a selection of some of my favorite paper art pieces for you to enjoy!

Carmel Ilan Sea

Carmel Ilan North Wind

“Sea” (2011) and “North Wind” (2012) by paper artist Carmel Ilan, who folds and cuts pages from encyclopedias, her childhood notebooks and monthlies in order to reinvent new personal memories that she channels into social and cultures mold.

Andi Arnovitz

The artwork “Coat of the Agunah” (2010) by Andi Arnovitz, in which the artist cuts ancient Jewish marriage agreements (prints) into small strips and sews them in new arrangements in order to free Jewish women from arbitrary prohibitions.

Moshe Gordon

The untitled artwork (2012) by Moshe Gordon – a large wheel of concentric circles in which he reworks newspapers, encyclopedias and books, then perfectly blends color and text to create a balanced harmony. Gordon leaves it to it viewer to decipher his works.

Etamar Beglikter

Etamar Beglikter‘s Butterfly installations, in which the artist cuts atlases into butterfly shapes as a homage to the disastrous fire on Mount Carmel in which the butterflies symbolizes death and the atlases our planet Earth.

Yael Ben - Zvi

“Memories” ( 2010) is a series of cardboard boxes of artist/designer Yael Ben-Zvi . She cuts images of her childhood memories. For her the act of cutting is analogous to etching on memory.

Carmel Ilan blog photo 1

Paper artist Carmel Ilan – “The Paper Takes Me”

Breathtaking are the works of Carmel Ilan, an Israeli paper artist that I encountered during my visit to the “Fresh Paint 2013” event in Tel Aviv.

Carmel was studying sculpture when she found herself challenged with a self-portrait assignment and discovered the magic of paper. From that moment on, paper became her premier medium. And let me tell you, Carmel has definitely taken paper to a whole new level.

There is a lot to love about Carmel’s works of art. From up close, you feel overwhelmed by the amount of labor and hand-craft: numerous skillfully folded pieces of paper layered into a wooden base. Take a few steps backwards, and you are struck by the subtle forms that are created either by the various densities of paper layers, or by the slightest touch of color change, or by the play of heights. I was absolutely moved and awe-inspired!

Carrmel Ilan blog photo woman

Carmel considers her art as a personal journey and a reflection of her state of being. “The paper takes me”, she says. She begins with many sketches, after which she chooses the one she feels she needs to work with. The final result is always a change apart from the initial conception, influenced by the textures and colors of the paper but also by the atmosphere, feelings and moods of the artist herself.

There is this pure feeling about Carmel’s work. There are no color manipulations and the papers are taken out of old books, donated by various libraries. Not only does her art isolate her from the hectic world outside of her studio, but the working process and paper forces her to take it slow. She really loves and embraces this form of “Slow Art”, and it shows.

Carmel is currently preparing for a solo exhibition in Japan in 2014. She has generously shared with us three beautiful photos of her ingenious paper art. The woman is absolutely my favorite one! It is filled with multi-layered mystery, yet at the same time it is bare to the core, almost vulnerable. I feel very fortunate, as Carmel also invited me to her studio, which is a fantastic opportunity to witness this great artist at work (I will keep you posted).

Carmel Ilan blog photo 3

Paper artist Carmel Ilan’s works are presented by Rawart Gallery, and a wide presentation of her works can be found on her website.