Born in Israel, 1962
Paludes, 2012, sculpture, handmade felt on polyurethane surface
The point of departure for Ayala Serfaty’s work process is matter, which acts as a companion on her creative journey. In this case, the matter she chose is felt, the most ancient form of manmade textile. Felt is made of layers of wool, silk, cotton, and bamboo fibers that are kneaded by hand for a long time. The fibers, which come from different places around the world, are usually dyed with dyes produced from natural plants and fruits (such as nutshells).
The palette of this work is inspired by grade figure sculptures from the Vanuatu Islands in the Pacific, which serve as receptacles for the spirits of the gods during various ceremonies. The form of these sculptures, which is reminiscent of a cocoon or female womb, is related to cyclical processes of fertility, life, reincarnation and transformation. This form also calls to mind the shape of a canoe – a vessel viewed as a vehicle for passing from the world of the living to the world of the dead and from one state of consciousness to another in the course of initiation ceremonies, burials, and other ancient spiritual rituals.