Beverly Barkat at work in her studio.
(photo credit: TOR BEN MAYOR)
IN AN unassuming building in the center of Jerusalem, contemporary artist Beverly Barkat is working in her white-walled, light-filled art studio where she creates and paints on PVC. Barkat, the wife of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, is in the final stages of creating a new site-specific installation for a solo exhibition to open in Rome. With the different color soils of the land of Israel, she has related her connection to the modern State of Israel through the stories of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel and the colored stones of the High Priest’s hoshen or breast plate from the Temple in Jerusalem in a powerful 4-meter towering installation that she has named “After the Tribes.”
Barkat was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1966, moving to Israel with her parents in 1976. The daughter of two artists, she grew up immersed in art. After her degree in fine arts from the esteemed Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, she began working with clay, metal and glass, but later shifted to drawing and oil painting after attending an inspiring master class led by Israel Hershberg at the Jerusalem Studio School. Following the success of her exhibition shown during the Venice Biennale last year, Barkat was invited by the Israel Embassy in Italy, together with the Italian museum association, Polo Museale del Lazio, to create an installation as part of the ceremonies celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary.
Barkat drew on her wealth of artistic knowledge including metal work, architecture and space design, and painting to develop a work which encompasses her whole identity as an Israeli and as a Jew.