artist statement

As an Israeli-Canadian artist I am aware of  how we’re shaped by the landscape of  our youth. I attribute much of my inspiration to the geographic and cultural  contradictions of Israel: the Negev Desert known for its  dusty mountains, the turquoise Dead Sea as well as the glamour of a city like Tel Aviv. Combine these influences with those of my adopted country, Canada. A multi-cultural country with a long winter, and it’s easy to understand why my paintings depict forces in opposition .

The way I choose to paint further strengthens my theme as my work negotiates both the margins of abstraction and figuration. I do this by painting with force and focusing on shape, colour, and line. The line to me is a language: thick, thin, brutal and broken. I use it to create tension, to blur the relationship between the imaginary and real, and to fade the past into the present.

Often as I scratch or cut into a canvas  I consider how much aggression is needed to create a work. The very tools I rely on seem to challenge each other: the harsh pencil scratching into the paper, the sticky oil on the sleek white canvas. This interaction is the thread that binds memory to reality, as well as my past to my eventual future.

Copyright © Tami Galili Ellis
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