Mizrachs, Series 1: Illuminated Blessings and Poems from The Book of Blessings
The centuries-old Jewish art form known as the mizrach (the word means "east") is a decorative plaque hung on an eastern wall of the home, indicating the direction to face in prayer. Marcia Falk's new mizrachs guide us not to a geographical place but toward our "inner East," providing a focus for meditation, contemplation, and the prayer of the heart. All poems, blessings, and paintings in these fine-art prints are by Marcia Falk. The texts are from her volume of new Hebrew and English prayers, The Book of Blessings; the original medium of the paintings is oil pastel. All mizrachs are printed under the supervision of the artist on Epson Velvet Fine Art paper, using archival pigments, in a limited edition of 18.
"Although I have been painting and writing since childhood, the exigencies of life led me to pursue only one of these arts professionally, while maintaining the other as a private passion. When, after decades of work in both realms, the idea of re-envisioning the mizrach came to me, I realized that I had been (not always consciously) searching for—and had now found—a way to unite the two disciplines.
"The mizrach has also enabled me to convey, more completely than I had previously been able, my sense of the natural world as the grounding of the inner life. The metaphors and images in The Book of Blessings, which are drawn largely from nature, derive from the same source as the landscapes, seascapes, and cloudscapes of the paintings. It is my hope that the melding of the two arts yields a whole greater than the sum of its parts."
Click on a mizrach to see a larger version.
© Marcia Lee Falk.