Thursday, July 10, 2014

East, at Camp Newman
(Wait, what?)

Yeah, that's right: east. Because the first papercutting project I completed with the Hagigah campers this summer at URJ Camp Newman was a mizrach, an ornamental wall plaque used to indicate the direction of prayer (east) in Jewish homes. We brainstormed as a group to get some ideas going, but each student designed their own mizrach, and then backed it with comics.

And since the big Peachy Levy Festival is tonight, when the campers' work will be unveiled, I figure it's fairly safe to post images here. And coming up soon, photos of the campers "paper midrash" projects!

Sunrises and skylines were recurring themes, but each camper found a unique way to present them.

Some of the pieces showed a reliance on abstract forms, while others were more representational.

And since every camper picked their own way to express the concept of "mizrach"
there were some out-of-the-box ideas, like this dove which is made of the letters
"shalom" – peace, in Hebrew.

Campers were given guidance on how white space can help create an emotional component.

Translating ideas into the papercut medium was a new experience for many of the campers.

Defining larger spaces (such as these clouds) by breaking them into smaller parts
allowed for some creative collage in the backgrounds.

Sometimes the artist creates a piece with one meaning, but others see it differently.
For instance, I see the Hagigah "train" in the rays of this rising sun.

Campers incorporated English or Hebrew or both (or none) in their works.

The simplicity of these Hebrew letterforms gives them strength and directness.

Fewer compass roses this summer, but there were some.

I love the exclamation point here – you can hear how loud this piece is.

The contrast between the large sun and the small village is striking.

An unfinished but promising piece featuring script Hebrew and English side-by-side.

A first papercut reveals a camper's natural facility for creating stained-glass like elements.

The phases of the moon atop the rising sun, surround sofer-style Hebrew letters.

Another skyline, this one leveraging some advertisement elements from the comics.

Size and distance and white space can create a dramatic narrative out of simple shapes and colors.

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