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November 2021 - Jerusalem Theatre

Curator: Dr. Batsheva Ida

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NOGA IN MY HEART - Jerusalem

Curator: Dr. Batsheva Ida, Jerusalem Theatre

This exhibition by multi-media artist Debbie Oshrat (b. 1954, Haifa) protests the mental and emotional abuse of women. 

Oshrat’s daughter Noga suffered such abuse during her military service in the Air Force. In her artwork, Debbie Oshrat embroiders phrases from her daughter's diary on dried and stitched tea bags, and embellishes them with mythic and symbolic imagery, alongside silhouettes of mother and daughter. 

The small embroidered works form a continuous narrative that brings to mind the Bayeux Tapestry (Kent, England, circa 1070), commemorating the Norman Conquest of 1066, characterized by marginal illustrations of allegorical scenes. 

Also in the exhibition are larger works on burlap coffee sacks that relate to the story of her mother, a Holocaust survivor who suffered greatly in Auschwitz. 

The artist thus stands between two generations, threading their pain through her art, all the while seeking to repair and heal them. 

Oshrat is part of a larger group of women artists that include Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), who used soft textiles to imitate skin and express intimacy, and Ghada Amar (b. 1963, Cairo), who uses her needlecraft to challenge the male gaze. 

For Oshrat, it seems, the needle becomes a dangerous weapon, a sword biting the cloth. But the goal of sewing is to repair the tears and its repetitive nature is soothing and relaxing.  

When "Noga in My Heart" was first exhibited in January 2021 at the ND Art Gallery in Ramat Gan, Oshrat embroidered Noga’s comments along with the public’s response in a quilt, which is displayed at the entrance to the present exhibition. 

The Jerusalem Theater is pleased to cooperate with Naamat and the Jerusalem Municipality to raise awareness of this important issue and encourage open discussion. 

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