Biblical Visions

The light colors of her large-size paintings on the walls of her scarcely furnished, airy house in Sde Boqer in the Negev desert seem to dissolve into infinity. They are all colors of the desert: sand, gold, a very light yellow, a light stone-green, the pale blue-white of the Negev sky in winter, lots of ochre with a tinge of red, light orange and pink, sparingly used Chinese red, yellowish white, umber, some violet and black. At first glance her compositions seem to be abstract, but then you discover that here are told stories, Biblical visions, told in a powerful, fantastic way.

(Gretel Rieber, 2003)

Paintings 1 click here.
Paintings 2 click here.
Paintings 3 click here.

Her Colors Have Changed

Her colors have changed and her subjects have changed, she is occupied with the desert and man in the desert, in her eyes a fathomless well. The desert, she says, is the cradle of the great human cultures, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, the place where wild wandering tribes became nations and realms. As the Hebrews did when they got the Mosaic law and settled down. She makes fantasy sketches of the early nomads, our forefathers and – mothers, she studies books about archeology and Biblical exegesis to find out how they were dressed, what textiles they used, what animals they bred, how their tents were built. She observes those who live here now, her Jewish neighbors as well as the Bedouins.

Her sketch-pads are full of faces and figures which, as she found out, are the old and eternal ones, only in modern disguise. She spends days studying grazing camels, shepherd girls with sheep, boys riding donkeys. She has drawn all thinkable objects the Bedouins use, their coffee pots and coal basins of polished copper, their daggers with engraved sheath, their carpets, saddles, bridles, the musical instruments they still construct in the ancient manner, with goat skin, stretched on frames of wood, and strings of horse hair. The Bedouins have preserved a lot of our ancient ancestors’ ways. You can also learn of them in practical matters, alternative lifestyle as well as not to haste in the desert or to drink a lot of tea with fresh green mint.

(Chaim Noll, 2003)

Paintings 1 click here.
Paintings 2 click here.
Paintings 3 click here.

©2008 Benny Kahane, Beer Sheva, Israel