The Column Scrolls, 2019, Margot Gran - Eretz Israel Museum

The Column Scrolls, 2019, Margot Gran

Photo: Hadar Saifan


Watercolor on aquarelle paper


Margot Gran, b. 1967


The Column Scrolls is a series of seven watercolor paintings on large sheets of aquarelle paper that can be unfurled like scrolls or presented standing as columns, with only part of each painting visible. This series explores painting based on the observation of the everyday kitchen utensils, toys lying around the house, leaves and stones found outside. Simple, randomly encountered elements are collected and reorganized to become surprisingly monumental.
When I purchased a 10-meter-long roll of paper, I imagined myself painting a scroll that would unfurl along an entire wall. I wanted to use large gestures in space and explore the difference between painting as “picture” and between a long, unfolding narrative. Since my studio is small, I could only spread out parts of the paper roll on the table. Due to the frustration concerning the difficulty of painting on the entire scroll, I set it aside, with piles of leaves painted at one edge.
In January 2019, after years of paintings landscapes, kitchen objects, and garden leaves in small formats, I decided I’d had enough of intimate, subtle images, attempts to keep the paper straight and clean, and the fear of the effort involved in spreading out. Day after day, I spread the paper out on the table, setting the various elements upon it. I draped the paper over the table and cut it, straight or crooked. While it was stored, some of the paper absorbed oil that had poured on the floor, and its edges crumpled when I moved it from place to place. I learned to be less afraid, and to trust its durability and a-temporal quality.
Time after time I painted dishes, branches, stones and the leaves of the mulberry tree behind our house. The ones that are now greenish will fall in autumn, yellowing and folding into rigid forms, like the paper column upon which they are painted, they too are a document of life.”


On display at the Rothschild Center, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.