Plants in the Hansen yard
For two years now I have been visiting the Hansen House in Jerusalem, a hospital and residential compound for lepers built on extensive grounds in the 19th century that in recent years has become a museum of the original institution and an art space. I have been following, drawing and photographing plants in their various seasons: blooming, wilting and renewed growth.
The Hansen grounds are typical of courtyards in Jerusalem, with neglect alongside cultivation and endemic hill vegetation alongside cultivated plants. The vegetation documents the various incarnations of the place: the fruit trees in the orchard that have survived since the time the hospital was an autarchic entity that provided food for the lepers, stubborn herbs that are remnants of the period when there was a community garden before it became a cultural center that neglected the grounds and the annuals characteristic of the natural vegetation of the Jerusalem hills.
I am not looking for the beauty of perfection but rather the beauty of a flower that is past its peak, wilting, turning yellow – but obstinately surviving. This is a series that connects me to my familiarity with the plant life of the land from my wanderings in nature as a child and to my botany studies at Hebrew University, as well as to my ability to draw that I have developed as an artist and to my love of the technique of etching.
At the Jerusalem Print Workshop I print each piece of paper twice, first with an image of the plant and then, superimposed on it, a second imprint of an image of another plant in faded ink, which creates an echo of the initial image. In the studio I paint on top of the double image, so that each print is unique. In this process, too, I combine two loves: my love of the rich black and white and my love of color.
To date: 30 prints, 31*26 cm, 2015–2017