During one of her travels a few years ago, Beverly Barkat was struck by an image of children scavenging on a once-beautiful beach awash with plastic waste. She saw our planet Earth suffocating by our own deeds. Her current large-scale project Earth Poetica stems from those events, hoping to raise awareness of plastic pollution, to “break down the barriers between people and nature in a way that will change perceptions and perhaps habits.”
Over the past three years, Barkat has been transforming plastic waste into a giant globe, four meters in diameter, representing our planet Earth. During the global Covid-19 pandemic, she has been collaborating with individuals and communities around the world who have been collecting and sending plastic wastes to her studio in Jerusalem. She used soy resin to transform the waste into panels that were then put in metal frames and mounted on a bamboo structure. Earth Poetica, a globe reproducing the continents and oceans in their proper proportions, glistens with breathtaking beauty.
Viewed from afar, it looks like a jewel, but when the viewer comes closer and looks within, the truth is revealed: the inner surface is a chaotic maelstrom of tufts and jagged fragments of plastic bags, bottles, fishing nets, and consumer packaging. Viewers can experience the work from different angles: they can take a bird’s-eye perspective, they can peek inside, or just sit nearby and contemplate its message.
April 22 is Earth Day, a day that symbolizes equality and harmonious co-existence between the human race and the planet that we all inhabit. On this occasion, [we at] Da Xiang Art Space gallery would like to share Beverly Barkat’s work Earth Poetica with you. It conveys a very unique message, inspiring us to reflect upon our environment.
The above is adapted & excerpted from a feature article in The New York Times.
“Earth Poetica”，此作品現正於以色列耶路撒冷戈特斯曼家族水族館(The Gottesman Family Jerusalem Aquarium) 展出中，展期至2022年10月，之後將前往美國紐約曼哈頓”ground zero”建築附近的世界貿易中心大樓。
Earth Poetica is a globe four meters in diameter with Earth’s continents and oceans. It is currently on display at The Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, in Jerusalem, until October 2022. It will then travel to the United States to be exhibited in the World Trade Center building near Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York.
Beverly Barkat (born 1966 in Johannesburg, South Africa; lives and works in Jerusalem, Israel) has held exhibitions in Japan, Italy, the United States, and other countries around the world.Initially her preferred media were clay, metal, and glass but participation in a master class led by Israel Hershberg at the Jerusalem Studio School inspired a shift to drawing and oil painting. Barkat’s early works were largely figurative and in keeping with traditional Western genres. Around 2009, she turned toward formal abstraction, deconstructing the figure and capturing movement with dynamic lines on a two-dimensional surface. In 2014, her series of paintings inspired by Japanese calligraphy earned her the Curator’s Award at the 28th International Exhibition of Art & Design in Kyoto. In 2017, she introduced the innovative medium of PVC sheets—her ‘transparent canvases’—in her first international solo exhibition, Evocative Surfaces, at Museum Palazzo Grimani in Venice during the 57th Venice Biennale.