1xRun: Tell us a little bit about this series of work?
Alice Mizrachi: “Tree of Life” print series is a mandala tree. It represents the cyclical nature of life, birth and rebirth in all its beauty. In addition to the print series I created burned birch wood sculptures with images of people in our community, home and family. I chose to use birch wood because it represents new awakening, the return of spring and fertility. The three phases of the moon waxing, full and waning, were seen as the Maiden, Mother and Crone – stages of the cycle of nature. The birch tree was therefore closely associated with the waxing, Maiden phase of the moon.
1xRun: Were these pieces part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did they fit into that given grouping?
Alice Mizrachi: I have been interested in exploring the archetype of the sacred feminine for a while now. This is an ongoing conversation in my work that explores mother earth and her cyclical nature. The process engaged my desire to carve, burn and feel a tree. I enjoy the exploration of working with materials that can be hard vs. soft. It reiterates the thread in my work of juxtaposing yin and yang energies.
I just returned from an artist residency with Honeycomb Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I exhibited an installation of wood burnings that represented the “Phases of the Moon” a mural and collaborative works. The Family Tree series presented in this release inspired a whole new idea for my works currently exhibiting in Buenos Aires entitled “Coversacion Triple”.
1xRUN: What materials were used to create these pieces with?
Alice Mizrachi: The print is a drawing on paper with ink and the sculptures were created with birch wood and a wood-burning tool. They were coated with a matte finish and sanded for a soft feel.
1xRun: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Alice Mizrachi: I am painting a mural for a workshop at the Transit Museum with The University of Northern Colorado and I’m about to begin teaching our 5th annual Blackbook Master Class at Hi_ARTS in NYC.
1xRun: Tell us a bit about your process and how the idea and execution came about?
Alice Mizrachi: The idea came about one day when I was tinkering in my studio. I asked my studio neighbor who is a wood smith to leave any scraps of birch he didn’t use. He gave me a whole box and I became inspired to make something with them. Another friend gave me a wood burning kit months ago that I was planning to use and this seemed like the perfect timing. Finally the 2 materials met and this is what I came up with.
As far as the process, I usually I start with researching for some form of inspiration. I found a mandala I liked and used part of it while adding my own pattern and design. I incorporated my mehndi designs as well. Since these were my first wood burnings, I let the images come spontaneously. I like to let my wanderous line lead me in most cases as you’ll see in my drawings and some of my paintings.
1xRun: When did you begin these pieces and how long did the series take to complete?
Alice Mizrachi: This series, including the print and wood burnings, took about 2 months to complete and completed in January 2016.
1xRun: What do you feel is unique about this series?
Alice Mizrachi: I haven’t used this technique before so that is a new process I’ve explored and developed.
1xRun: Describe this series in one gut reaction word.
Alice Mizrachi: Sacred.
1xRun: It has been a while since our last release with you. Bring us up to speed on what you’ve been up to.
Alice Mizrachi: This year has been full of blessings, I’ve been very busy with various exhibits and murals! I took part in The Mashup exhibition in NYC at the City Museum and went as far as Amsterdam for an IBE Festival mural commission! I also had a couple solo exhibitions. One in Harlem, NY and one in Winnipeg, Canada.
1xRun: What are your plans for 2016? Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Alice Mizrachi: I am painting a mural at The Transit Museum with The University of Northern Colorado, co-curating a show in June at MACLA, a mural project in Worcester, another mural project with Knox/Albright and a panel and mural for ArtSEA this coming summer in Seattle among a few other projects in the works.