Mother Nation - תמר גרצ'וק

Mother Nation

Although I certainly love autobiographies, I find the very writing of an autobiography, and the exposure/disclosure complementing it, extremely difficult.  Even back in my school days, I would choose to sit in the back of the room, observing the occurrences, while feeling invisible, and inaudible, if I could refrain from speaking

As long as my mother was by my side, the need to draw letters on a snowy white paper was minor.  Most of my strengths were channeled to the world of visual art, where my soul freely wandered, relating its tales through the acting of techniques, shapes, and shades of colors
The need to express myself through writing as well erupted with its utmost might after my mother's death.  This additional mode of expression probably constitutes a means for finding comfort in the intense feeling of loss that floods me day by day

At the beginning of my artistic journey, I attempted to express my feelings through the world of painting, while drawing my inspiration from Bible stories, classical literature, and folktales; books I read in my youth, under my late mother's guidance.  Without it, I would have probably never been aware of the creative expression prospects lying within my internal world

My grandmother, Chaya Wischniatzky-Losh, who arrived in Israel as a religious pioneer from Poland (a daughter to an ultra-orthodox father, who was a former Yeshiva student) was fervently observant, although she married my grandfather, Tzvi Gerchuk, who was a secular Jew.  I remember well the separation of kitchenware for meat and dairy products, Sabbath candles, and her reserved seat at the synagogue until her death.  They would never impose their faith on one another.  Human understanding, love, and harmony prevailed in their home

That was the home where my mother grew, being raised in an atmosphere combining religion and secularity, drawing from both worlds a diverse life philosophy.  Her immense love of Bible stories and classical literature was instilled in me as well

Throughout my academic studies, my artistic work became more rationalistic, more associatively connected to our day and age's reality

Humor is known for its great ability to release tensions mounting up as a consequence of various conflicts, and is present in many of my works.  Thus, it was with a good-spirited approach that I exhibited in ''Beit Hatanach'', Tel Aviv's Bible Museum in June 2009, titled ''Bible and Judaism – A Personal Outlook''.
As this day and age is characterized by a grudge – whether obvious or hidden – between the secular Israelis and their fellow observant Israelis, I also perceive this exhibition as an act of bringing together and abridgement.  It is a fulfillment of a dream implying the spirit of my home's values

Unfortunately, my mother did not live to see it.  She passed away in April 2006

In this book, I present a summary and recapitulation of 40 years of artwork; years of learning and development, of exploring art history studies, countless misgivings and searching for a path; of involvement in various issues, and of immense, blessed joy with every moment of creation.  The world of art is, first and foremost, a world of freedom; freeing of one's mind and freedom of expression granted to their seekers as a precious gift .

. Modernity shall render this heritage universal and all-embracing  

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