Needle Puncture Spirit
Curator: Ilana Carmeli-Lenner
At the current exhibition, Sima Levin - artist, designer, illustrator, painter, drawer, and engraver – enables the passage of light and spirit both in their philosophical and physical dimensions, through lacerations applied to paper. Weeks, and sometimes months, of ardent work while piercing paper with a needle have created intricate weavings of the artist’s personal stories and her love of nature.
In hindsight, the choice of the needle as a pencil to draw with did not happen by chance. Sima’s mother was a seamstress who prevented her daughter from touching a needle lest she’ll get injured, or, as Sima puts it, “So I wouldn’t get pricked by a needle, like Sleeping Beauty”. But creativity and the search for yet another way of drawing and painting broke through and connected Sima to the needle.
Her drawings on paper start with images Sima creates from flowers, plants, insects and elements from nature which are transferred through sketches with different techniques until they lacerate and pierce the paper, creating one final narrative. “I investigate and examine my surroundings down to the last detail and pay special attention to every grain, stone, twig and leaf. Tactile contact with the soil and the plants is very important to me”, says Sima Levin. By means of piercing, Sima perforates the paper and creates a fascinating visual, sensory, intellectual and textural story, influenced by her internal reality, by memories from the past, by longings, fears and hopes.
Observers looking at her works from a distance see large blank surfaces. Getting closer though, they start discerning dozens of details, and when they come closer yet, the small holes grow larger, lose their identity inside the story and turn into elements that introduce light and spirit. Spirit and light have their own deep physical and spiritual meaning in the stories displayed by Sima; they constitute a way of life, of thinking and creating in regard to every detail in her life.
Levin was born in Chisinau, Moldavia and immigrated to Israel in 1974. For many years, she ran an independent studio for graphic design named “Graphics”. In the late 1980s, she started illustrating books for children and youth at the “Keter” Publishing House. Sima engages in installation art, drawing and figurative painting, and specializes in printing and sculpting techniques. Today, she works and lives in Afula, Israel.
Levin has taken part in dozens of group exhibitions and quite a number of solo shows.