Mally Elbaz Almandine
Artist/
Painter

Mally Elbaz Almandine

Painter

Bio

Mally Elbaz Almandine My name is Mally E lbaz A lmandine. Al m andin i s a pu r ple gem, wh i ch has b een a n insp i ration t o my c r e ati v ity and worldvi e w. F or m e, it symbolizes a n atural, b a sic fo und a ti o n t hat reflec t s both t he fieldsto n es th at I played with as a child a nd t he miles t on e s in our l i ves. My work co n s i sts of t iny st o ne s , atom like, p ar ticles t hat cr y stallize into molecul e s, in t o cel l s from w h i ch t he w hole pr o cess of creation i s bo r n. T h e c h oice of m at e r i als, tec h niq u e, images a n d com p o s it io n are b o rn f rom t he labo r io us w ork of ma r king t he c i r c l e s of sto n e s . I t is a slo w , repeti t i v e, c e re m onial m a r k i n g t hat c o n jures up c o m plex c h il d hood m e mories. I was b o rn in Isr a el, in t he city of A f ula, to paren t s w h o im m igr a t e d f rom Yemen. My grandfa th er and fa t her w e re sewi n g and e mbro i de r y cr a f t smen in Sa n aa, Yemen. My f ather u s e d to s e w wool and s h e e p s k i n sw eate r s for t he king in Y em e n. Be f ore his death, my f ather tau g ht me t he t raditio n al Y emenite embroid e ry. As a c h ild in a f amily of e i ght, wh o se p aren t s wo r ked for a li v ing, my grand m other w as a do minant figu r e in my l i fe. Twi c e a day I used t o go out t o gr a ze h e rd of s h e e p with her. The c ulti v ated f ields o f the J e zreel Valle y , the c o lorful lan d sc a pe, the width of the s k y, t he wild pl a nts and the ani m als w ere a n in t rig u i n g s p a ce f or m e t o e x plo r e, p l ay and s o cial i z e . Th e se me mo r i e s are t r an s l ated in t o imag e s from t he natu r al wor l d, that s e rve as a v isual and emoti o nal lan g uage in my work: bra n c h e s that turn in t o dol l s, lea v es of eucal y ptus t r ees t hat r e s e mble a bla n ke t , a land t hat be c a m e my f ir s t “ c a nv a s\", on wh i ch I e n graved d r y twigs. The st o nes a r e t he ba s i s f o r my child h o o d memor i es i n my works, but also f or th e distorti o n a nd dissoluti o n of t he s e m e mor i e s . The t iny s t one c h ai n s create mi sle ad ing, s h a ky l in es in the w orks, w hich unify t he uniform p i ctu r e of t he wo r ld an d e x p ose it as a dis j ointed painting. L i ke a biography com p osed of pieces of li f e rath e r than a sing l e mo ve ment of ti m e, my images a r e a c o ll e ction of c o mplex m oments that are f or m ed a nd brok e n a p art in one a ct. This d y nam i c, wh i ch c haracter i zes my work, creates a sense of liberati o n but at the s a me ti me of chaos, freedom and distu r ba n c e . This is th e t en s i o n t hat u n de r p i ns m y wo r k, wh i ch h as b e en inte r nationally re c ogn i z e d a nd pr e s e nt e d in exhibi t io n s around t he wor l d. My artistic la n guage is infl u enced by m y c ultu r al, mat e rial and p sycholog i c a l r oo t s. My work m anifes t s experi e n c i ng in a variety of m aterial t ec h nolog i es - f rom t raditional embroid e ry to oil paint i ng. From the traditional re p ertoi r e, I ado p t c o lorful an d col o rful mo t ifs of f olklor e , and pr o ce s s th e m freely a s an expr e s s i on of m emory, dr e am, or a pict u re of a horrif y ing imagi n ati o n. The d e c o r ati v e e x press i on is a manifestati o n of an abu n da nt c o lorfu l n e ss f loodi n g a skept i c a l, do u ble pe r spect i ve of a wom a n -child. My work is a reflecti v e r esea r ch a n d s e l f-discov e ry, partly uncon s c i ous a nd p a rtly self-con s cious. I u s e loose fabr i c s , not stret c hed ones, a s us e d in sewing o r embroid e ry c r af t s. The p a inting begins on i t s own, with no s k e t ch and no p ri o r plann i ng. T h e f ab r ic li e s o n my lea v es or s p read out on t he kitch e n t able, allowi n g me to sink in t o it and br e ak a way f rom the s u r rou n din g s. A t first, I c o ver t he acr y lic fa b ric out of a s e n se of t otal f reedom, no c o m p o s it io n, l egality or cl e ar bo u nd a ri e s. S ometimes painting e x t e nds b eyond the boundar ie s of the c a n v a s . I am s u cked into a pri v ate, m y t hical wo r l d, allow in g t hings t o e manate f rom within me for hours. The i m ag e s a r e cre a ted without c onsci o us in te rvention on m y pa r t and wi t hout c o nt r ol. In the s e cond stage, I rem o ve the wo r k a nd lo o k at it. The i ma g es fl ood me with str o n g mem o ries a nd feelin g s. A t t h is sta g e, I c o n c e ntrate on t he detai l s, w e aving the story out of t he e motions t hat f loat in me. The w or k of painting b e comes a wo r k o f art and is d i v i ded into th o u s a n d s of tiny componen t s. I m ark them with oil and later ret u rn t o t hem wi t h ink, sur r ou n ding e a ch a n d e v ery stone and s e al it with a dot. The S isyp h e a n, ob s e ssi v e pr o cess i s p a rt of the wo r k. The num e rous la y ers, the repeti t i v e m o vemen t s and detai l s, p resent ma s s i ve dou b le world v iew. The gaze of t he g r ow n -up g i rl f loats t he g a ze of the lonely girl I w a s . What is m emory? Whose ima g e is o f the world? Who c o n t rols it? I feel that the e ntire wo r k is h arn e ssed into an a c t of qu e sti o ning, do u bti n g, of un c e rtaint y , but also t he act of un e quivo c al, optimistic m aterial p rese n ce, within the wor l d. 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