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Images - Hebrew Calligraphy and Japanese Sumi-e painting

In the beginning, it is said, twenty-six generations before the creation of the world, each of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, engraved with a pen of flaming fire, descended from the crown of God to entreat the Holy One that the world be created through him or her.

In the beginning, says Edna Miron-Wapner, it was the glory of the Hebrew letter that drew her, fascinated, into the world of calligraphy.

But it was the fluidity and freedom of Japanese brushstrokes, the vitality that flows into each Oriental ideogram, that led her to explore the world beyond calligraphy, where lettering becomes a revelation of the individual. Inspired by Eastern concepts of harmony, of active relationships between positive and negative space, as much as by the words of ancient Hebrew poets and mystics, she unconsciously began to relate to the classic Hebrew letterforms as departure points, rather than the end of the road. The route into imagery, dreams, and meditation was painted with sumi ink on a variety of papers using various brushes.

The fortuitous result is the collection of black-and-white images presented herewith. The stark letters of the Hebrew alef-bet have been spontaneously transformed into universally evocative symbols epitomizing, in the words of Ben Shahn, that "element of timing, of the fast movement and the slow, the deliberate and the rash - that wonderful progression of time and movement that continues to reside in the figure after it is made". In Edna Miron-Wapner's hand, Hebrew letters speak an international tongue.

Barbara Gingold

IMAGES is a transformative art experience. It synthesizes my background as a lettering artist, my pursuit of the Jewish mystical path, and my reverence for the beauty and simplicity of Japanese Zen Art. Exploring imagery, dreams, and meditation, I seek to integrate the concept of notan - the harmonious interaction between positive and negative space - with Hebrew letterforms that evolveinto abstract symbols. In exploring my art, I discover the path to my spirituality, experienced as an expansion of self-awareness.

Each piece is centered in my present reality and emanates from an inner "sanctuary" where grief, pain, anger, love, joy and truth are given tangible expression and form. These emotions come alive in the vibrant force of the brushstrokes and the flowing energy of the ink - an intuitive and spontaneous creation. Powerful healing, which affects me deeply in body and soul, is channeled through this process. I feel at one with brush, ink and paper.

Transformative art is a mutual creation, to be contemplated as one-to-one communication. The viewers are invited to experience, understand and feel touched by IMAGES in their own unique way.

Edna Miron-Wapner

website by varda spiegel, photographs by douglas guthrie