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Journey to the depths of the sea and to the subconscious

The exhibition took place during:
december 2004 , Sea of Galilee, Bet Gabriel  
March 2006, Jerusalem, Jerusalem theater

Exhibition of blue pictures in oil on canvas. In this series of pictures the sea and its depths are realized. The sea is mysterious and replete with secrets and demons. Therefore, its depths are a subconscious abyss like the mystery of the human soul.

This series of paintings is called "Depths" due to the desire to express the depths of the stormy sea as well as the enigma of the human unconscious.

From the Press: 

"In this current series of paintings the sea and its depth are realized…"
" The sea is deep, constantly changing due to its many shades and because the sea itself changes unexpectedly from moment to moment – from quiet calm to dangerous storms through all the colors of blue, gray and green…"
"To express this feeling I limited myself in advance to creating a series of paintings which are all painted in various shades of blue." The manipulation of these blues, which I approached without prejudice
led me deep into my own subconscious…"

"B’emek v’barama", 106, December, 2004

 More about the exhibition

The Depths in light of psychology and mythology

Depths (Noun), sea, well, foundation,  thickness, abyss, the opposite of height and apex (“Mila b’Mila” Thesaurus of the Hebrew Language; Eitan Avnion) 

Checking synonyms for the word ‘depths’ one finds that not only does the word have many definitions, but that each synonym for it has several other synonyms with various associations. For example:  “sea”, depicts not only the physical reality of the sea as opposed to the land, but also “endlessness” and human “subconscious". Jung was right to contend that the sea voyage of Greek mythological heroes parallels a journey inside the soul.

The Greeks believed that when man passes from this world he arrives at the world of the dead—to the realm of Hades in the depths of the earth. In this realm one meets the god of slumber “Hypnos” as well as the god of dreams because while living, dreaming is the closest thing to death. Therefore, the Greek world of the dead is to some degree also a world of the unconscious. The sea, as well as the world of Hades, is found deep in the earth and is not just hazy, dark and mysterious but also yields rich treasures. Inside the earth and sea are hidden a wealth of natural resources and treasures; treasures of sunken ships and drowned worlds.  Unfortunately, all these treasures are buried deep down and are unknown to us—we are unaware of them precisely as we are unaware of our own private subconscious world.  Man‘s Connection with the hidden elements of his soul, if done with improper timing or without care, is not without its risks; it can endanger the rational ego and bring about its dissolution, cause a loss of connection with reality and ultimately sink man into his subconscious.

This “entry” into the subconscious parallels the journey  of mythological heroes in their quest to fulfill their tasks: the journey of these heroes is also fraught with danger and twists and turns as it progresses and with each triumph over obstacles and  difficulties they are strengthened as they strive to accomplish their task.

The implications of the blue depths for me

Personally, I differentiate between the blue of the sky on a clear day and the color of the sea; I do not consider them on the same associative level.  The sky looks delicate, spiritual in its shades of light blues and even if these shades turn mysterious in their darkness after the setting of the sun they are still not like the sea. The sea is deep, constantly changing because of its many shades and because the sea itself changes unexpectedly from moment to moment – from quiet calm to dangerous storms through all the colors of blue, gray and green. The sea, in my eyes, is always some what more dangerous than enjoyable – white waves with their salty foam, a deep abyss that opens to anyone who ventures too far from the shore, and bellicose whirlpools. The sea symbolizes for me, as it did for the ancient Greeks, a subconscious abyss, mysterious, replete with secrets and demons.

This series of paintings is entitled “Depths” because of my desire to express the depths of the stormy sea as well as the depths of the soul. These are not just monochrome paintings, even if I did limit myself to one color. Actually, I painted in many colorful shades of blue; beginning with dark indigo (the color is produced from a fish who uses it to camouflage itself in a hostile sea) to Prussian blue (which is also dark but with the addition of white changes to turquoise) to cold cobalt blue to ultra-marine blue which is very close to purple (and to warmth).  In addition, I mixed each of these colors with one another as well as with white.  The manipulation of these colors, which I approached without prejudice and not always with awareness, led me deep into my own subconscious.  My hope is that the observer of these mysterious pictures will discover the attributes that are not readily discovered -   unless one looks deeply inside and makes an effort to see them. It is not only the creating of these works of art but the observation of them, as well, that draws us closer to the subconscious and to greater awareness of the depths within us all.

 Liat Polotsky [from the exhibition‘s catalogue]


cover of the catalog




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