An old legend tells of a giant humanoid creature called Golem (Hebrew for “unfinished matter”), formed by man out of mud and brought to life by magic in order to serve and to protect. Recounting ancient creation myths, this tale has captured the imagination of scholars and writers from the 2nd century Kabbalistic Book of Creation, to the late 16th-century story of the Golem of Prague, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein tale of the early 19th century, Sorcerer's Apprentice in Walt Disney’s Fantasia and contemporary video games.
My Golem photographs and videos describe forming and deconstructing a figure out of sand referencing the creative process and engagement with the natural environment. My gallery of large drawn "Golems" comments on the human existence as it presents contemplative commanding portraits of these powerful but tragic messengers and servants of a higher cause.
Lilach Schrag Artwork . לילך שרג עבודות אמנות
Among the qualities attributed to Biblical prophets was the ability to walk on water as a means of demonstrating authority.
This series focuses on the imprint that an action leaves behind. It includes headless metal figures gracefully yet forcefully move on piles of glass, just like prophets who follow a higher authority in order to lead, as well as stained glass works capturing ripples created by stepping on water.
Beautiful, long haired, winged Lilith is a female demon who appears in the folklore of many cultures. Her character integrates elements from ancient Babylonian mythology and refers to primal fears such as fear of feminine dominance and crib death. Lilith's character reached its full embodiment during the middle ages as scholars and mystics addressed the existence of two Biblical versions of creation. According to the legend, Adam’s first wife was not Eve, but Lilith who was created with him. When she was denied equality, Lilith grew wings and flew south from the Garden of Eden to couple with archangel Samael. Three angels were sent to retrieve her, but when she refused they cursed her. The complex and tragic character of Lilith has been widely portrayed in art from the seductive serpent in Michelangelo’s The Fall of Adam and Eve in the Sistine Chapel, to Kiki Smith’s haunted wall sculpture.
The “Lilith” series uses materials such as fabric, nylon, paper, paint, glue, and staples, and incorporating industrial and found objects. It examines the fine lines between tragedy and malice, freedom and obligation, beauty and decay.
Just as a snake sheds its skin as it grows, Lilith’s shed skin represents aspects of her life as well as an opportunity for renewal.
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© 2013-2017. Lilach Schrag. All rights reserved
The "Cloak" Series refers to the Biblical story about the ascent of the Elijah to heaven, and his final encounter between the mysterious prophet and his loyal apprentice Elisha. In this fantastic tale, which is filled with rhythm, intensity, and emotion, Elijah’s cloak plays a central role. Elijah uses his rolled gown to split the river Jordan, and then, as he takes off in a fiery chariot to Elisha's cry, "My father, my father," he drops it for his protégé. From a common article of clothing, the cloak transforms from a common article of clothing into a tool in the hands of a miracle worker, and a symbol of authority and opportunity.
The "Cloak" Series is an attempt to understand my existence in a place where “cloaks” are ever present, mediating between heaven and earth, between mundane and Divine, demanding attention and action. The Series includes drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and installations made of metal, wood, fabric, paper, plaster, and paint. The large two-dimensional works in the series follow the motion of the fallen fabric and its folds in drawing, painting and stapling. These pieces reflect the history of the worn-out garment that protected the prophet throughout his journey with visual hints of smoke, decay, and vegetation. The "Cloak" sculptures are a collection of soft and hard, flexible and fragile pieces, made with materials that record traces of action and process. The installations are made with of shirt parts, ribbons, wire, rusted metal, and commercial paint that were torn, connected, scattered, and diminished. They take off, crush, or melt, moving from the physical to the abstract, and stay forever moving and yearning.
Over the centuries, Jews have displayed an illustrated text, usually made in the form of papercuts or micrography, professing: “I have God always in front of me.” This powerful statement talks about introspection and connecting with spirituality by giving a visual representation to a thought.
"Shiviti" Series contains photographs and video works about connecting with God.
One of the pieces shows a meditative self-drawning held with a left hand, referencing the tradition of laying T'fillin and the connection to the heart, against the sky that embodies the power of nature and the traditional Divine residence. Other pieces in this series deal with orientation in the surroundings by hanging a Mizrach made from materials found in nature, on the doorpost, or utilizing ritualistic elements such as fire to highlight a transformative moment of ineffable presence.