Marionettes, 2016-2017, Lucy Elkivity - Eretz Israel Museum

Marionettes, 2016-2017, Lucy Elkivity

Photo: Hadar Saifan
Photo: Hadar Saifan
Photo: Hadar Saifan


Mixed media


Lucy Elkivity, b. 1958


“The marionettes hanging on strings stem from images created in earlier paintings. Static images that come to life to form ‘moving paintings.’ The images depicted in my body of works evolve out of imagined shapes that seek to inscribe themselves onto the support. I usually work with ink on canvas, horizontally. Following an artist’s residency in Spain, newspapers, collages and cardboard entered my artistic language.”

I sought a means of endowing these creatures with a three-dimensional body and movement, which is limited in painting. The works create the likeness of living creatures whose character remains unclear. They are minimally symmetrical, and delicately maintain their balance. There is something incomplete and imperfect about them, but they also appear to be alive and breathing. These marionettes are anchored in childhood memories of small moments of happiness, when the parts were pulled by the strings to create small yet enjoyable movements.

My work is largely intuitive, and I interpret it retroactively. Are the marionettes related to a search for repair or healing? Was I seeking an aesthetic expression of something incomplete? I don’t know. I make things and examine them later on, asking myself what it was that I did and why. Don’t artists create something out of nothing, a bit like a sort of god? Movement is the earliest, most basic expression of life. The smallest living cell responds with movement.”


On display at the Man and His Work Center, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.