Migration With Pomegranate
Aithan Shapira describes himself as the son of ‘immigrants rooted ten generations in Jerusalem’. In response, he makes his paint by grinding earth from the Judean Desert with oil and crushing the ashes from olive tree branches to make the colour black. He worked with Aboriginal Australians over three years, studying the art of survival and preservation. Shapira is an alumnus of the Royal College of Art, the Bezalel Academy, Brandeis University and Boston University. His work is represented in a number of international museums and private collections. He is a recipient of the Daler-Rowney Drawing Prize and the Blanche E. Colman Painting Award.
Migration with Pomegranate was selected from a new suite of paintings entitled ‘Migration’, of which the artist has observed:
My mother was born and escaped from Baghdad to Kfar Saba, Israel, my father is the tenth generation in Jerusalem, and I am a first-generation Israeli-American. The underlying lesson of my heritage is summed in a metaphor from my childhood; Watching watermelons crated through Ramat Gan’s streets, I learned you can make anything grow anywhere, even the unlikely proposition of a fruit composed primarily of water growing in the desert’s rejecting soil and climate. The ingredients: ingenuity, a touch of heart, a lot of hard work. Today I see watermelons providing new seeds, as if carried by birds bringing something foreign to plant by way of their migration. Patterns of sunlight, perhaps more opaque and solid than their surroundings, house this hope.