The Secret Life of Trees#3, 2019, Carmel Ilan - Eretz Israel Museum

The Secret Life of Trees#3, 2019, Carmel Ilan

Photo: Shay Cohen Arbel


Wood, paper, rope; wood bending, paper folding


Carmel Ilan, b. 1960


“I love paper, I always did. I am an obsessive collector of abandoned texts. Working with paper requires one to attend to the delicacy, brittleness and fragility of the material. My images grow out of fields of folded paper, in which observation replaces reading. Places that have become a no-man’s-land are the place for me. Sites without clear boundaries that limit me, without the rigid rules that defined it moments earlier, without commas or periods. The papers, chariots of text, preserve the material memory of their past, while growing into a new language. I love paper that carries the memory of loose roots. A heart torn between what lives, what grows and what is still. My guilt was left long ago with a tree, in a faraway field. But I kept the beauty, alive or dead. The Secret Life of Trees” is a series of works that engage with the genetic makeup of a tree growing on a factory’s concrete ground, with fruit born from the womb of a felled tree.”


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