Beth Shadur

Mi Sheberach
watercolor w/acrylic & cp
30 x 38 in.

My works on paper consist of mixed media works, combining watercolor, colored pencil and acrylic paint. Newer to my work are narrative ceramic sculptures. My work is narrative, telling stories and creating connections through symbols and sometimes nature, architectural references, objects, both real and imaginary, and other images to weave a narrative that is oblique, often personal, and sometimes political or issue-oriented.

My current series of works are intended as prayers for peace, in the ‘Tikkun Olam’ (Hebrew for ‘heal the world’) series. The works use symbology from around the world, encompassing world religions and cultural icons. Prayer, both as language and gesture, is explored for its symbolic role in various cultures. The paintings and sculptures investigate the image and symbolism of the hand in its many gestures and roles. Hands have appeared in my work for many years, as a symbolic reference to the artist/ creator; my newest body of work focuses on the hand in its many permutations.

The hand as creator, healer, giver, taker, and trickster is presented as the gateway to the soul of the artist/creator. The hand gestures towards other symbols, or becomes an entity itself with its own meaning and implications. The gesture of the hand often implies the meaning of the work, presented in a begging or asking stance in “Supplication,” or in a nurturing position of healing in the watercolor “A Show of Hands.” References to the symbol of the hand from other cultures abound, used in stamp form or as an icon. The ‘hamsa,’ a hangd-shaped amulet worn to ward off the ‘Evil Eye,’ has been used in an exploration of the artist’s Jewish heritage, looking at myth and superstition, or merely the symbolism of luck, protection and karma.

Some hands are presented as symbolic diagrams, as in “Shalom,” or representing the image of blessing hands presented with Hebrew calligraphy written across them, referring to the symbol of the blessing of the High Priest (in ancient Judaism) or of the rab

© Beth Shadur