The scorched landscape after a fire leaves behind the remnants of the familiar while totally destroying them. This happened to Ein Hod, the artist colony outside of Haifa that Nechama Levendel has lived in for decades. This piece exemplifies the destruction after the fire, using a belt buckle and pieces of wood to recreate the now-scorched landscape. But beauty, such as this piece of art, can emerge from such destruction, no matter where it occurs. Just as wildflowers can emerge after a fire, destruction can lead to art as we humans grapple with our loss and start anew. This art piece serves as a reminder of the beauty that can come from destruction.
Nechama Levendel’s work features a unique combination of artforms. She repurposes books using an ancient technique of encaustic wax painting. While this technique is traditionally used on wooden boards, Levendel’s unique works incorporate old discarded books and the drippings of candle wax. She has lived in Ein Hod Artists’ Village since 1984 and shared her work with Kolbo in an exclusive 2013 exhibit.
We’ll let the artist herself tell you about her Book Objects:
“I started working with books during our time in Germany as visiting artists. We were wandering in the flea market on a very cold day in the winter of the year 2000. Suddenly, my eyes came across a pile of used books lying on the cold black asphalt. I began to wonder where have they been, who had held them and in which home, how they got there… many thoughts of all kinds. This was especially profound given the history of that place, a place where they burned books and also people. A book is a private item that tells a story. I thought about what it means to print thoughts, share them, and how others buy them. I find used books that were a part of someone’s life and that they held in their hands. These books hold the story of the writer, the owner, and from this I add my own language and interpretation. It is now a book object that tells a completely new story with its own unique visual aesthetic.”
- Approximately 5.75’’ x 8.5’’
- Made of book, belt buckle, wood, wax.
- Title of book is “Scorched Earth”