This brings me to the difficulty I faced while constructing this project; namely, deciding what would and what would not make it into the final piece. Israel’s history, though comparatively short at 70 years, is incredibly complex. This fact weighed all the more heavily on me because I am a relative newcomer to the subject. It was clear to me, however, given the scope of Israeli history, that certain subjects, such as the religious history of Israel and Israeli-Palestinian relations, were deserving of their own dedicated projects. There are elements of both these subjects in my work, but they have not been brought to the forefront in light of my decision to focus instead on a celebration of the highlights of Israel’s history as a whole.
The process of creating this work required many hours of reading and researching before I even set foot in the studio. It has been a real learning experience for me. I am finishing this project with much more knowledge of Israeli history than I began with in September. I am also finishing this project with the understanding that there is much more for me to learn both as a student of Israeli history and as an artist seeking to give meaningful expression to consequential ideas and issues. Going forward, I have recently added Israel Studies as a minor to my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and I can think of no better way to begin my studies than by creating this piece, a combination of two of my passions – painting and learning about Israel.
– Noa Isabel