Embroidered Liturgy Series — TSIMAON (Thirst) By Leor Grady

Embroidered Liturgy Series — TSIMAON (Thirst) By Leor Grady

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In this work, the Hebrew word “Tsimaon”—Thirst—is embroidered onto the paper in the font typically associated with sacred texts. A thick puddle of gold paint drips down over the word, evoking the heaviness of a stain of blood. The word is taken from a line in the poem First Picture by Rachel Bluwstein, commonly known as Rachel the Poetess: “The cry of thirst will not be quieted in the water.”

Materials: Gold thread on paper, gold paint
Dimensions: 9/11.8 in

In this work, the Hebrew word “Tsimaon”—Thirst—is embroidered onto the paper in the font typically associated with sacred texts. A thick puddle of gold paint drips down over the word, evoking the heaviness of a stain of blood, a remnant of a violent act. While other words embroidered by Grady in his Embroidered Liturgy Series are taken from the sacred texts of Judaism, this one quotes a poem written by Rachel Bluwstein, or Rachel the Poetess, as she is more commonly referred to in Israel. The word is taken from a line in her poem First Picture: “The cry of thirst will not be quieted in the water.”

The word, embroidered in gold thread on white paper, is presented in a minimal form that nevertheless conveys much. The convergence of the artist’s razor-sharp minimalism with the traditionally Mizrahi art of golden embroidery takes apart the conventional distinction between binary categories: modern and traditional, secular and religious, craft and art. Ancient traditional craft is reframed in the context of modern artistic discourse. Moreover, Rachel’s texts have almost liturgical status in the Israeli national canon, and the presentation of her in the sacred form usually reserved for texts invites reflection on the binary distinction between Judaism and Zionism.

Leor Grady

Leor Grady is an Israeli-born visual artist, living and working in Tel Aviv. Working in a wide range of media—from sculpture, video, and drawing to traditional materials and techniques such as gold, embroidery, and even olive oil—Grady subversively repositions everyday objects, concepts and experiences, imbuing them with poetic meaning. His works explore themes of home and identity politics, intertwining text, language, and tradition while addressing his traditional Yemeni heritage roots from within the context of contemporary artistic discourse.
Read more about Leor here.