Gilah Yelin Hirsch
Radiance: Murmurations and Emanations
March 17 – April 28, 2024

Opening Reception: Sunday, March 17, 1-4 p.m.
Artist Talk, 2:00 p.m.

Theater Presentation: ALEPH to DNA:
The Power of Form - Artist as Scientist in a Reflective Universe
Saturday, March 23, 6 p.m.

Closing Reception: Sunday, April 28, 1-4 p.m.

Artist Statement

A magical solitary residency in the High Sierras obscured in hundreds of primeval redwood forest acres, was the location and inspiration for an extraordinary ten-day painting experience. I was alone at the Morris Graves Foundation, living and working in the simple wooden studio built by the hermetic and legendary, mystical Northwest artist Morris Graves (1910 – 2001). A sense of One-Ness, infinitely profound connection into the universe, characterized the sensation which was intensely palpable and reified as I watched the sun rise and set over the ancient hidden lake that had formed in a crater millennia ago. I was barely separated from the spellbinding apparition by the window-wall that encouraged psychic entrance into the fertile primordial habitat at all times. When the sun reflected in the lake, galaxies of stars rippling with the wind captivated me, while at other moments shiny striated bark of the redwood and birch trees surrounding the lake glistened like precious jewels. On moonlit nights, fireflies joined the glittering spectacle, while on lightless nights I shuddered, gripped by unfathomable darkness. Some mornings I awakened blanketed in impenetrable fog, the complex world outside the window-wall had entirely disappeared.

I was overwhelmed by the spirit of the place and within a few days I had exhausted all forty canvases I had brought. They seemed to paint themselves. I then opened the roll of papyri I had brought from Egypt years before that had languished in a flat file for possible experimental use in the future. I unfurled them and immediately saw that the grain of the papyri echoed the grain and texture of the surrounding trees. I followed what seemed to be otherworldly instruction and soon was painting the papyri releasing the grain by utilizing state of the art chemically altered iridescent, interference, transparent, normal acrylic paint as well as copper, gold and silver leaf in many layers followed eventually with digital sewing. The shimmering light on the skin of the trees and the enchanting reflections in the lake, seemed to dictate the paintings. My right hand grew sore as there was no stopping this ethereal push from another world.

More information:

Dorado, 2019, (front) digital sewing on hand painted papyrus, 23" x 34"

Dorado, 2019, (back) digital sewing on hand painted papyrus, 23" x 34"

Parting, 2018, acrylic on papyrus, 25.5" x 38.5"

Approaching Center, 2018, acrylic and gold leaf on papyrus, 25.5" x 37"

Palimpsest 1, 2019, acrylic, papyrus, antique Tibetan jacquard, digital sewing, 30" x 22"

Aspiring, 2019, acrylic, papyrus, antique Tibetan jacquard, digital sewing, 36" x 22"

Emerging Deity, 2018, acrylic and gold leaf on papyrus, 37" x 26"

Rising, 2018, acrylic, gold, silver, bronze leaf on papyrus, 36.75" x 25"