Top Israeli artist to exhibit at the Perth Festival

February 6, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery will present the exhibition Human Nature by prominent Yemen-born, London-based Israeli artist Zadok Ben-David as part of the 2018 Perth Festival.

Curated by Felicity Fenner, Human Nature features two of Ben-David’s most important and best-known artworks: The Other Side of Midnight and Blackfield. These two breathtaking installations bring a touch of magic to contemporary issues and challenge us to rethink our relationship with nature and our views of life and death.

In Blackfield, 20000 flat, metal miniatures of 900 species of plants from across the globe stand on a bed of white sand; all are painted black on one side and colourfully on the other. At first glance, this field resembles a bushfire-ravaged landscape, but as you walk around it the work reveals itself and we see that it represents new life and the resilience of nature in the face of disaster.

Zadok Ben-David

“The transformation from one extreme to another quite often affects the spectator in an emotional way, particularly if they have had tragedies in their lives” says artist Zadok Ben-David.

“Blackfield is an optimistic psychological installation presenting two extreme situations – life and death. Yet it is more about choice than fate. The flowers are intended as a metaphor, a symbol of two extreme emotional states – happiness and grief.”

Conversely, The Other Side of Midnight is more foreboding. Suspended in a darkened space, this magical installation is viewed under UV light. It is a two-metre circle with two disparate sides: on one 2,000 meticulously handpainted, fluorescent butterfly-human forms appear in a carefree celebration of life. On the other, as the clock keeps ticking, hundreds of beetles and cockroaches – supposedly insects that could survive a nuclear catastrophe – seethe over the surface.

For both works Ben-David uses multiplicity as an organising principle.. Installing so many individual elements requires the assistance of 25 visual art enthusiasts in Perth through a volunteer program co-ordinated by the Perth Festival and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

“The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery is delighted to be working with Zadok on presenting his two extraordinary works in our gallery as part of the 2018 Perth Festival” says UWA Chief Cultural Officer Ted Snell. “It is always inspiring working with artists of vision and ambition and for the 25 volunteers it will undoubtedly be an experience of a lifetime.”

The exhibition opens 9 Feb and runs till the 21 April

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