Artwork > Excavation

While researching the history of coexistence amongst Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Spain (711-1492 AD), I visited an unearthed, ancient mikvah (Jewish ritual bath, originally fed by a natural, live water source). I was struck by the practice of spiritual purification, both personal and collective. In turn, this inspired me to engage in a creative excavation.

Central to this exhibition is a symbolic, abstract mikvah designed using wood, encaustic, copper and sand. As I wanted to deepen relationships with artists whose roots stem from the Middle East, I tapped into my lineage and engaged other artists whose origins were similar and also in conflict with my own.

Carving wood and sculpting with a torch, I created totemic forms that invoke the heritages of the people I have come to know. My imagery of Jewish and Arab ancestral totems, fallen apples, burnt steps and roots that carry a vital current into human form, create an environment in which new and unexpected connections can be gleaned from decay.