Goldfish II by Amber Aslam - Pakistan

It is a humbling realization to come to terms with the reality of this being our 3rd exhibition of art work created by women. As we consider where we have come with the ArtisTTable in the last 3 years we begin to understand why there are times that we have sit down and catch our breath. This particular show has shown us again in a most impressive fashion how much creativity there is out there in all four corners of the globe, and still we just feel like we are just starting to only scratch the surface. Ladies First represents 119 women artists from 19 different countries.

The response was so great, we must give our juror’s even more of a word of thanks because of the monumental job they had of reviewing all of this work and making what we know were very difficult decisions. Thank you to Yael, Tamar and Shira van der Wouden, the work you have done here has made this show a richer experience for all that will see it.

Juror’s Notes:

When the three of us received the works, there was a period of about a week, I think, that we didn’t discuss the art—not what our favourites were, not what we were looking for, what stood out. By the time we got together to discuss our votes, I realised that I had actually no idea as to what process my sisters had gone through in reviewing. More than that, I realised that I actually had no idea as to what they might’ve liked, might’ve leaned toward to, despite the fact that I’d generally say that I know the two better than I know myself at times. It was a surprise, then, of the best kind, when we all put our final choices on the table and realised that not a single one of them overlapped. We had all chosen entirely different styles, colours, narratives—different stories.

Though one thing was clear, right from the get go: while the choices were different, none of us were in any way in disagreement. We’d all entirely understood and agreed with the other’s pick, her reasoning, her decision. What I believed happen was, that despite the fact our tastes our different, the aesthetics and voices we are drawn to, we were still looking for the same thing: an image that told a familiar story, a woman’s story, in a way that excites and surprises. We were looking for pieces that played with an existing canon, played with tradition, and used it in order to convey a story that hasn’t been told using those colours, those shapes or words before.

In the end, each and every piece sent in did that in its own way. Each piece was a personal story, told through a world of experience and a history, and in that each piece was thrilling and moving in its own. Seeing the wealth of creativity shown by all the women who have participated was beyond impressive, it was inspiring. I once read a piece that argued that whereas most men artists lived in the shadow of their artistic “fathers,” for women the fear of creation was a different one: to pick up the paint brush, the pen, in a society that told them they’d better not, was the bigger challenge. And so it was not originality that daunted women as artists—but autonomy, the right to claim one’s identity as an artist.

What we have seen in this show has exceeded that. Armed with a paintbrush, a camera, a pencil or simply your hands, you artists have shown fearless dedication to creation, to letting your voice be heard. I want to thank you all, truly, and ask you—kindly—to never stop. This was an honour. - Yael

1st Place “Kick in the Teeth” Tali Irony –

Irony has a talent in making her audience feel things they didn’t expect going in. Each of her pieces has it: a slice of life, of experiences that are so familiar that the recognition one feels is immediately followed by discomfort. Relationships are central to her work—a touch, a closeness, the kind we so often want to give or receive but that so often seem out of place or simply too naked in their need. This particular piece did so much for me in terms of what it tells and, on the flipside, what it doesn’t tell: the interaction between the title, “Kick in the Teeth” and the scene is striking. A whole story is mapped out, a event, set within a season, an environment, a relationship—a snapshot of a scene that implies so much in just one glance. At the same time the details that are left in serve only to mystify, to let you know of all that is not said—all that you cannot possibly know by simply looking. The placement, the colours, the pose, the style, all come together in playing a certain game of give and take with the audience. A fascinating, brilliant work that has stayed with me from the moment I first saw it.

2nd Place “Swimming Underwater with Neurons” Nancy Wolitzer –

Another piece that manages to do so much with its title, and the title’s relation to the visual. What I love about this piece is the way the colours seem to be in a process of brightening: you watch it waiting for the reds, the blues and the yellows to grow stronger and brighter, which never happens. And yet they are there, so clear, when zooming out. The material is fascinating and raises more questions than it answers, and in a way feels as much as reflection on what it feels like to search for inspiration as it is to convey an inspired idea. I would never tire of this piece: it holds so much in it, is in such movement, it seems, at all times.

3rd Place “Reflections” Elinore Koenigsfeld –

This piece never fails to surprise me. What I adore about it is the way it changes shape, changes what it seems to show the audience depending on how close one is standing—on the details that come in and out of focus. It is an incredibly daring piece, the landscape peeking through shapes that at times seem like limbs, at times not at all. What becomes what, its seems to be asking—the faded body a desert tree, or does the tree exist within the body? The colours burn, the shapes blurred so they cannot be grasped fully, and the wondering at the story it tells makes for an honest and total fascination.

Yael’s Choice: "Rajput Princesses Hunting" Anum Jamal–

I adore this piece to no end, and I’ve also made it my purpose for the coming while to go around convincing as many people as possible of its genius. In my general note I’ve mentioned what it was that I was looking out for when I was reviewing the art—a known story told in a way that surprises and excites. Something that subverts the familiar, but doesn’t leave the audience behind in reaching for the “new”, rather, it takes you, as a viewer, along with in their experiment. Jamal does precisely that, and so very lovingly: to enter a tradition, an iconic tradition nonetheless, a tradition with a clear set of rules and visual signifiers, is not an easy task. To enter that tradition in order to tell the stories dear to one’s own heart, especially if it is a story that hasn’t always been welcomed into the canon, is a whole different ballgame. Jamal manages to take a history, a study of (brilliant) colours, of shapes and of landscape, and gently make them her absolute own. It breathes a fascination and dedication to one’s own culture, and a desire to share it through the lens of the artist’s experiences, as shaped by her surroundings.

Conceptually, contextually, visually: inspiring.

Tamar's Choice: "Mixed Messages" Ruby Lindner –

When I saw Linder's piece, it immediately grabbed my attention. The way that colors, shapes and textures are used in a way that is almost calming, made it for me a very special piece.

Choosing between all the unique, and beautiful artworks was not an easy task. Whenever I thought one really stood out for me, another one came along. I enjoyed viewing all of the artist's works and working together with my fellow jurors Shira and Yael.

Shira's Choice: "Beginning or End" Trudie Appelman –

The work of Appleman spoke to me because of the bright colors and striking textures. The coming and going of seasons, time and nature are all shown in this one piece which is why I chose this as my personal choice.

Ladies First - 2015 ArtisTTable Women's Show Artists:

Sheker Akiniyazova - Turkmenistan

Biance Alebiosu - USA

Anastasiia - Russia

Trudie Appelman - Netherlands

Emily Appolonia - USA

Claudia Aracell - United Kingdom

Stella Arden - United Kingdom

Lynn Arnold - USA

Amber Aslam - Pakistan

Amit Avni - Israel

Sangeetha Bansal - USA

Priya Baxter - United Kingdom

Michael be Zeev - Israel

Rita Camphijsen - Netherlands

Cleofe Guangko Casambre - USA

Betty Blue Chance - New Zealand

Natalia Chevyakova - Russia

Samantha Cohen - USA

Brigitte De Vuyst - Belgium

Vera Deans (Vuvicevic) - Australia

Cat Delett - USA

Danielle Doctor - USA

Varda Dotan - Israel

Georgia Doyle - USA

Miki Dror - Israel

Maya Dunsky - Israel

Marty Edmunds - USA

Perry Efrati Treistman - Israel

Penny Emil - USA

Terry Jane England - USA

Marta Frei - Slovenia

Oxana Fursenko - USA

Katherine Geisweit, USA

Beatrice Gentry, Germany

Errin Gie - Indonesia

Valery Gnet - Russia

Irit Gruss - Israel

Kerryn Hart - Australia

Ruth Hazi - Israel

Adrian Hern - USA

Malka Hochberg - Israel

Donna Howard - USA

Sheryl Hughes - USA

Tali Irony - Israel

Cynthia Jagtman - Netherlands

Anum Jamal - Pakistan

Deb Keirce - USA

Sophia Kholhokova - Russia

Hedva Klein - Israel

Elinore Koeingfeld - Israel

Orna Gurfinkel Kolman - Israel

Svetlana Kornilova - Russia

Anna Kryukova - Russia

Olesya Kushchenko - Russia

Erna Landsaat - Netherlands

Lisa Lange - USA

Yona Leibovici - Israel

Ruby Lindner - USA

Hollyce Mack - USA

Cristina Marino, Australia

Dalia Matmon, Israel

Kathy Maxwell, USA

Tara McCallum, USA

Amar Mehtab - Pakistan

Taylor Mezo - USA

Yael Mimouni - France

Rodica Mirita - Netherlands

Yuliya Mochalina - Russia

Ruta Mockute - Lithuania

Jo Murray - Australia

Beata Naumiuk - Poland

Alla Neganova - Latvia

Rachel Neta - Israel

Gloria Nicholson - USA

Yoseffa Neuhauser, Israel

Sierra Oliver - USA

Helen Oprey Australia

Adiva Or- Israel

Mim Aylett-Palmer - UK

Sheila Passon - USA

Olga Percinshi - Moldova

Cheryl Rau - USA

Roney-Leigh Dubnov Raz - Israel

Natalie Reilly - USA

Pandora Ridd - Russia

Sarah Rom - Israel

Rachel Rome - USA

Mariana Peirano Royuela, USA

Sharon Ruby, United Kingdom

Miri Eitan Sadeh - Israel

Gonda Santing - Netherlands

Marijan Schutte - Netherlands

Yael Segev - Israel

Yael Shabtay - Israel

Yehudit Shalev - Israel

Diane Shaw - USA

Anat Shayovits - Israel

Kate Skorsky - Australia

Lisa Solovieva - Russia

Anat Zagorsky Springman - Israel

Zorica Stanojevic - Netherlands

Julaire Sterbach, - USA

Michelle Sylvester - USA

Bharti Thaker - India

Noga Tirkel - Israel

Neeta Hemant Torgatti - India

Kaye van Eijden - South Africa

Thea Vos - Netherlands

Mary Ellen Waszak - USA

Ilana Weiler - Israel

Celeste White - USA

Nancy Wolitzer - USA

Lital Yeshurun - Israel

Grady Zeeman - South Africa

Bat Zion Zeifman - Israel