The engraving technique is strongly linked to the artist’s artistic approach which sustains, in particular, dialogues between creation and destruction, control and disorder. The artist explains: “The images I insert into the metal plate are gradually destroyed by the engraving process, which leads to new and surprising forms and thus give place to an independent articulation regarding its direction and its meaning.”
The artist perceives her creative process as a dialogue with the arts community, through which order and disorder, control and chaos occur. She expresses her emotions and ideas arising from her immigration from Israel to Canada. Her pieces reflect the memory of her native country, Israel, the land where the artist was born and grew up. Her landscapes are organized according to her impressions and memories, as if they had been drawn with eyes closed. Dark and intriguing landscapes, composed of architectures or vegetation are also part of Refaella Shir’s work.
Delicate and structured, her compositions recall an environment that the artist had to rub once. An impressive library in the parental home, which has been split after her parents’ death, houses crammed, miniatures showing a family where members look as if disconnected, these images represent a reality that seems safe, protective, but is in fact temporary and fragile. The artist questions the concept of belonging. In her work, intense and poetic, tender and violent, she reuses the same concept, in order to endlessly fragment it and rebuild it.
Born in Israel, Refaella Shir has first studied at Bezalel Academy of Art of Jerusalem and then in the United States, in 1992, at the Mitchell School of Fine Arts of Baltimore. She has exhibited in Israel, Canada and Europe. In 2009, she has illustrated an anthology of poems called Song of Time Passing from the author Isaac Shalev, distributed by the publishing house Am-Oved, Tel-Aviv, Israel.