ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 34-35

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
Ghosts of War 01 Photographic Print 12” x 16.5” Limited edition of 20
It brought back memories of our War of Liberation in which my brother was killed, amongst many others. The pain around me
of so many bereaved families and the awful darkness in my own family never left me.
These are compelling events which explains so much of your work. Is this how “Ghosts of War”came into being?
As l visited one day, not many weeks ago, the Golan Heights where my son lives, we took a ride not far from the Syrian border.
Many ruins left from previous wars still stand there, untouched. Walking into some of them, seeing the bullet-ridden walls, the
graffiti, the dirt that accumulated in the dark and frightening rooms over the years, I was overtaken with memories and pain.
Thus my latest project was born. The series l named “Ghosts of War”.
Working on the photographs l had for a moment a feeling that all of the world is merely one big family: no matter the color,
religion or sex, we all suffer the same way in wars, we all lose our nearest and dearest, we all cry with hot tears and we all have
hearts that break.
I know l am not going to change the world, but if l can reach out in my work and touch others, even very few, it will be a great
Shifra, what are your earliest recollections of your creative impulses, and when did you first embrace photography?
Ever since l remember myself, l was always either with a sketch book or a camera. I finished my thesis in Art History and intended
to continue for a PhD. At a certain point I decided to take photography seriously. That was in 2007.
What were some of the subjects that captured your interest in the early stages of your development?
At first l photographed everything: Nature, Landscape, Urbanism, People and Abstract, in color and in Black and White. At a
certain point I felt that photographing everything wasn’t enough.
What was the geneses of your progression?
I wanted to put things in order, so l started focusing on groups such as Architecture, which meant buildings, mainly in cities,
or dilapidated neighborhoods, which fascinated me with its colorful neglect. I found windows and doors exciting with their
different styles. The unending reflections in building especially high-rise from glass and chrome, the distorted reflections in
them was a revelation and almost an obsession for me.
Do you recall your first and second
solo exhibitions?
I had my first solo exhibition, and my
album: “The Third Eye is My Inner Eye”
was published. My first and second
solo exhibitions, as well as my album,
showed reflections of all sorts.
How was your work defined by your
surroundings as well as shape and
define future projects for you?
At this point l knew that l am an urban
photographer, and that everything
about the city interests me. I also saw
that a city had everything in it, be it:
Architecture, People, Abstraction and
even Nature. The constant movement
was feeding my imagination and l
started taking my photography a step
further: mixing and matching and
creating my own world. This is of course
done with the help of the computer and
the software that goes with it.
I noticed a shift in your work around this period, a shift toward a more profound expression of your thoughts, moods
and ideas, how did this come about?
For a while l enjoyed playing around with building new realities and new worlds. Slowly l felt a change in my work: it became
more emotional. My photography reacted to my moods, which were subject to life around me: be it personal, social or political.
There were times that my work was very colorful because my mood was great, and other times color totally disappeared.
What do you attribute the transformation from color to black and white to?
In February 2012 my studio was burned down. The soot, the smell and the damage lasted for months, as if it was embedded in
my brain. I couldn’t work at my desk, had to find other alternatives, to improvise and l felt my life was turned upside down: l had
nightmares, which of course affected my work, color totally disappeared, and black - not black and white - just black took over.
Meanwhile, the world around me started changing: I live in Israel, and the countries surrounding my small homeland started
burning: Egypt in the South and Syria up north.
Shifra in her Studio
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