Open Frequency / Dana Harel, Shayan Rose Ben Sira, Orit Livne, Lezli Rubin-Kunda

Dana Harel, b. 1986, Gan Yavne; lives and works in Kibbutz Hazor, Israel

In her works, Dana Harel sets natural processes in motion, examining their underlying laws. Led by discovery and wonder, she reconstructs phenomena that fascinate her in a variety of mediums. For example, in one of the series she randomly pours industrial paints, construction leftovers, on the canvas in different directions and with varying intensities. Their slow cracking as they dry produces a different cracked texture each time, with its own internal logic, which is affected by the changing climate conditions.

According to the artist, “Nature is in everything. When I pour these materials, I am curious to find out which of my actions made the cracks look different; how the material and its thickness affect the drawing created in the space between the cracks. Sometimes a back light penetrates them. I opt for white, which allows attention to the void and soothes the gaze.”

The camera lens is another medium through which Harel observes the geometry of nature and the tension between existence and non-existence. In her photographs, a delicate, fragile drawing of hexagons is spawned by a close-up of milk bubbles inside an aquarium. The hexagonal shape, which also appears in volcanic eruptions and in beehives, makes optimal use of the space and energy. The photograph holds the bubbles before they disappear, inviting the viewer to be enchanted by beauty which may dissolve in an instant.

(Thanks to Maya Brodetzky & Eli Arluk)

Dana Harel

Shayan Rose Ben Sira, b. 1966, Amsterdam; lives and works at Ronit Farm, Israel

Cairn, 2021, naked raku fired clay and blown glass

Shayan Rose Ben Sira shapes the clay with her eyes closed, creating sensual sculptural objects resembling pebbles. With repetitive meditative gestures, she smooths and smears them at length, like the way water washes over pebbles. Concurrent with her striving for formal perfection, the naked raku firing technique yields a crackled, fragile texture.

The charred cracks inside the white glaze result from the sudden removal of the “ceramic pebbles” from the hot kiln, subsequently placing them in a container of combustible materials. It is a western version, which evolved from the traditional Japanese raku firing, and its uniqueness lies in the singular quality of each piece, which cannot be anticipated. At the core of this process lies freedom and recognition of the beauty of the flawed and imperfect, an aesthetic ideal, known in Japanese as “wabi-sabi,” which is based on an appreciation for the traces of natural processes occurring over time.

Placed one on top of the other, the stones resemble a cairn (rujm)—an ancient mound of stones which marks the route for those walking through wind-swept desert expanses. Glass stones are incorporated amid the clay stones. The artist blows the glass while placing it on top of the ceramic stones, so that their shapes are congruent. When she arranges them in a heap, a delicate balance is created between their diverse qualities: softness, fragility, and strength.

Shayan Rose Ben Sira

Orit Livneb. 1961, Rehovot; lives and works in Mevaseret Zion, Israel

Black Flowers, 2021, oil paint and turpentine on paper

The works comprising Orit Livne’s series Black Flowers flickered like swift, one-off occurrences amid other series of paintings, based on lengthy processes of stratified work in oil paints, attesting to years of mastery and skill. The same practice was repeated for an entire year: pressing cotton wool soaked in turpentine over the paper, dripping black paint from varying distances, and following its absorption into the paper.

Each time anew, this act called for careful attention and openness to the unknown. Observing the rapid, wondrous transformation of the stain spreading before her eyes, sketching its borders and gentle capillaries, until its uniqueness is fully revealed. Livne refers to these works as a process of letting go, allowing things to flow by themselves.

According to the artist, “there are elements of rhythm, power, and movement here, an oscillation between full and empty, and a total practice. The content is the process, and the process has an existential meaning for me. Its imperfection becomes perfection by the very fact that I cannot correct or change it. Acceptance of the image as it is requires intrinsic work and introspection through the material; a formless liquid stain which stabilizes in thin layers and is absorbed slowly. The process of absorption, taking place on the paper, is also a mental process of attentiveness conducted by the material.”

Orit Livne


Lezli Rubin-Kundab. 1954, Toronto; lives and works in Ramat Hasharon, Israel

Critical Mass, 2021-22, graphite and charcoal on paper

Lezli Rubin-Kunda’s drawings are created with close attention to the action itself. It is a process in which pencil and charcoal continue the movement of the hand on the paper, creating an energy grid, which gathers and disperses intermittently. This echoes the internal rhythm and frequency that pulsates in it. The grids develop like roots extending into the ground, neural networks, or mappings of dense urban areas. They seem to continue beyond the boundaries of the paper, in an endless movement that oscillates between chaos and order.

Rubin-Kunda, a multidisciplinary artist, has created numerous performances and site-specific drawings over the years with readily available, perishable materials from her immediate environment in a desire to test the limits of the familiar: the body, home, and space. Much like her performances, her drawings record the spatial traces of the action and the intuitive search process that motivates her.

According to the artist, “the return to drawing is like a homecoming, a return to engaging with line, something deeply embedded in all my works.” The composition begins with a random dispersion of dots and is created during the work process; it takes shape gradually, through repetitive work, like weaving or embroidery. The fragile drawing begins with the unknown and seeks itself in constant movement. “I move away and draw closer, zoom in to an inner space and zoom out to external spaces; get lost and find the way again. The result cannot be predicted in advance. The drawings seem to ‘draw themselves’ and often surprise me.”

Lezli Rubin-Kunda

Curator: Shir Meller-Yamaguchi