Project no.163

Daphna Arod

Protective Edge War Diary
Curator: Rachel Sukman

Opening: Fridat, 21 November 2014, 12 p.m.
Closing: Thursday, 19 December 2014, 2 p.m.

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6 Zamenhoff St. , Tel Aviv, tel.: 03-5254191
Gallery hours: Mon.- Thurs. 11a.m - 6p.m.; Fri. 11a.m.- 2p.m.


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Protective Edge War Diary

Curator: Rachel Sukman

The series of paintings featured in the exhibition is only a part of a body of work created by Dafna Arod during the fifty days of the recent war, works disclosing moods which oscillated between despair and hope. She had no intention of exhibiting them, but once the official end of the war was announced, she felt the need to share her feelings with others.

 

Upon hearing the first siren of Operation Protective Edge, Arod returned to the siren she heard back in the days of Word War II in Ramat Yitzhak, her family's residence, when she was one year old. Her sister had taken her out in the stroller. The siren made the sister leave the stroller and run back home, to find shelter. The stroller with the one year-old toppled over, and she lay there under the stroller until her father came and carried her home in his arms. This memory is etched so deep in her that it sometimes seems as tangible and clear as if it happened yesterday. With every siren in Tel Aviv, Arod says, "I once again felt alone in the world, pressed against the road with the stroller on top of me."

 

The first work, which opens the series of thirty war paintings, portrays a stroller with a baby inside. After the first stroke on the canvas, Arod realized that this was the only way to keep sane. She became addicted to the need to express her responses to the news, and began voicing them in color day in day out. When the tunnels were revealed, the canvas became filled with red brush strokes of fire and explosions. Every day of ceasefire and calm took her back to the landscapes—imaginary forests in blue, green, and purple hues, whereas days of civilian and soldier injuries and deaths elicited dreams of living in a small house in a warless country and recollections of childhood illustrations such as those in The Selfish Giant .

 

Arod, who likes to paint fantastic flowering forests, noticed that she failed to attach the flowers to the branches, and they remain separate, dissociated on the canvas. Only after the final ceasefire did she return to her studio at home (during the war she worked in a bomb shelter in Neve Tsedek neighborhood), and painted a deep green landscape with light at the end of the tunnel.