Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thelma Rosner at loop

Dictionary by Thelma Rosner c2011

Concern about national and religious conflict in the Middle East has been the subject of much of Thelma Rosner's recent artistic practice. In her exploration of these issues, she has considered Jewish-Muslim relations in both historical and contemporary contexts, from the magnificent culture of Andalusia to the conflicting narratives of today's Israel-Palestine. In the latter situation, the achievement of equality and dignity for both peoples should remain a realistic hope.

This ideal is the focus of Rosner's work. The doubling of images or words to indicate connection and equivalence is her underlying structural strategy.

In the book work Dictionary, a Hebrew-Arabic Arabic-Hebrew ‘dictionary’ takes the form of an accordion book. On each page, a simple object is represented by a visual image, and by identifying words in Hebrew and Arabic. Each image begins as a painting from which two archival digital prints are made. In each pair of prints, the text placement is switched and the image mirrored. The dictionary images or 'entries' are chosen for their resonance to both Israelis and Palestinians. Like literary metaphors, the images are open to interpretation.

Installation shot by Gary Clement
Thelma Rosner studied painting at the University of Western Ontario, where Paterson Ewen was her teacher and mentor. She has exhibited her work in Canada, the USA and England.  She has received grants from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Banff Centre for the Arts. For the last decade, her production has focused on Muslim-Jewish issues, most recently on the Israel-Palestine situation.