Name: Avital Sheffer
Date of Birth: 1954 - present
Nationality: Israeli born, Australian nationality
What has the artist said about their artwork/s that shows why they make it?
Avital Sheffer seeks in her art, an exploration of her cultural identity. To showcase this, Avital projects the cultural and structural frames through her works for the engagement of the language, architecture and wisdom of the Middle Eastern part of the world. Avital has stated that the infinite source of her inspiration spans from her passion for this world of antiquity with all its diversities and dichotomies which we see examples of in every aspect of her art.
What has the artist said about the meaning they are trying to communicate to the audience?
Avital’s ambition is to explore the unity between the universal aesthetic principals (found in Middle Eastern art mediums) and the human idiosyncrasies relevant to our contemporary society. In more forward terms: find and express the crossover between ancient humanistic ideology and the modern times need for such ideas. Avital is fascinated with this cross-fertilization of time and culture and feels inclined to direct her art in the path of these harmonies in history. This the most communicated thought within Sheffer's works.
Which frame/s are the most useful to study the artworks and analyse the intentions of the artist? Why?
When exploring Avital’s works, the framework we should be converging with her works are the cultural and structural forms.
Avital uses her work to convey Middle Eastern art practices and ideas. She learns about her own culture and forms her art based around this education. The cultural frame is most seen in her forms through the aesthetics and the mediums of her art and varies greatly by year. For example, in her 2003-06 collection, Avital’s works are more unusual in shape and form, whereas in her 2009-12 collection, her works show more text and symbols. She uses this frame to capture the audience and submerge them inside her world. Avital’s use of the structural frame is shown through the symbols, texts and mediums. She uses these things to convey a message quite directly which can be seen from any of her pieces. For example; in Avital’s 2014 collection her artwork displays lots of patterns and lingual symbols. This use of frame helps Avital dig into the roots of the culture she is trying to portray.
Avital Sheffer is an Australian Ceramic Artist who lives on the Northern Coast of NSW Australia. She moved to Australia in 1990 from Israel which was her birth place. She attended the Lismore Tafe College to obtain a course in Ceramics and has been exhibiting and making her art ever since. She is internationally acclaimed with exhibitions in the Americas but likes to keep her work represented in public exhibitions with Australian exhibitors such as National Gallery of Australia, Sydney Powerhouse Museum, Manly Art Gallery. She has won many awards and is currently a member of the international Academy of Ceramics.
Awards, Commissions or major exhibitions:
Gold-Coast International Ceramics Award
The Wilson Visual Arts Award
Winner – Byron Arts Classic, first prize for sculpture
Stanthorpe Art Festival
Artist in residence – The Israel Museum, Archaeology wing, Jerusalem
The Blake Prize
Manning Art Prize
Finalist – Muswellbrook Open Art Prize
Finalist – Travelling Scholarship Prize – Noosa Regional Gallery
Finalist – Prometheus Visual Arts Award
Finalist – Burnie Print Prize
Finalist – Ergon Energy CQ Ceramic Award
Artist residency – SODA Fremantle WA
Finalist in the Stanthorpe Arts Festival (26 Feb to 18 April)
Shepparton Art Gallery have acquired two of her pieces
Elected member of the International Academy of Ceramics – Geneva
Finalist – The 58th Blake Prize
Finalist – Manning Art Prize
Finalist, IV International Biennial of Ceramics, Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain