The Path of the Illuminated Hearts: The Gate of Tears, The Rain of Roses

From the catalogue of the solo exhibition in the Vatican 2001
Ruth Dorrit Yacoby

The series The Gate of Tears, The Rain of Roses depicts the transformation of the scorched soul into the illuminated soul of prayer, a path from earth to heaven. In this spirit I have constructed an installation of a cumulating mass. My entire oeuvre is taken to the extreme, embracing a whole universe.

It is a unique place conveying a sense of holiness and sanctity; a site where a person removes his/her familiar mental garments, obtaining a more refined vision; where the heart is widening with joy and light. It is like leafing through the book of illuminated souls.

The space is a dark, sealed, massive place, consisting entirely of corridors. It is packed with hundreds of paintings, which are laid on the ground, from floor to ceiling. The paintings themselves were executed over a long period of time, outdoor, and were left there, exposed to the elements of the desert. Concurrent to the paintings I constructed objects which, like the paintings, are made of multiple layers of paint and biography fragments. The materials are partly drawn from nature: leaves, branches; partly waste materials collected in the industrial area: wax, tar, nails; candles to guide and illuminate the way and warm the hearts of travelers; as well as materials and objects purchased from Bedouins, Christians, Palestinians, and Orthodox Jews: both ritual objects and mundane materials.

The installation is closed-in, overflowing with objects and paintings. It is a place where time had been frozen, reminiscent of the Pyramids which are a journey to the West; preparing the necessary items for a farewell voyage from this world, taking what is necessary to the next world. It is tantamount to an encapsulation and summation of this world; embarking on yet another cycle in the next worlds – a quest imbued with hope, patience and faith. The process is a preservation of power in an ongoing journey of the soul to secure its being. In this world it assumes a material form, adapting itself to corporeal existence. In higher worlds it assumes an attire of light, becoming refined, thus capable of connecting to supreme sanctity.

The installation is closed-in, overflowing with objects and paintings. It is a place where time had been frozen, reminiscent of the Pyramids which are a journey to the West; preparing the necessary items for a farewell voyage from this world, taking what is necessary to the next world. It is tantamount to an encapsulation and summation of this world; embarking on yet another cycle in the next worlds – a quest imbued with hope, patience and faith. The process is a preservation of power in an ongoing journey of the soul to secure its being. In this world it assumes a material form, adapting itself to corporeal existence. In higher worlds it assumes an attire of light, becoming refined, thus capable of connecting to supreme sanctity.

It is a dynamic, changing creation undergoing constant metamorphosis: breathing, budding, blooming. Preservation of this eternity within us furnishes us peace of mind and a mystical view of the corporeal world, thus allowing us to pursue healing and truth.

The journey started out as a journey of ashes and lumps of pain in a chaotic space, and continued with a journey of healing, with the ships of salt bearing candles of light to illuminate the route. The salt is raw, unprocessed salt brought from the Dead Sea; it is an ancient, primordial element embedding an essential aspect of preservation. It absorbs the disease and sorrow, thus transforming the body of sorrow into an illuminated body of blessing.

It is the never-ending journey of the woman who was buried at the depth of the ocean, now flying in the illuminated space, over a blue ship which towering trees. The painting conveys the trust, faith, and deep belief in the possibility of recovery and rebirth. The figure of the woman hovering above the ship represents both the blessed woman of the seas, and the guardian angel, the star showing the way, the albatross that guided the seafarers on their journeys. The Universal Mother with her compassion, mercy, and grace. The painting depicts a quest in a new mental territory, portraying the eternal search for salvation and truth.

The viewer takes part in the inner journey into which the works delve, equipped with the mental map to the path of the illuminated hearts: From darkness to light, from ephemerality to eternity, from earth to heaven, from matter to spirit, from a disintegrating chaotic space to a golden, expanding space, from a broken burnt figure to an illuminated figure with a mantle of grace.

The paintings trace two types of movement: Being “scattered”, so to speak, by setting out to the unstructured, the chaotic, like going through space and returning therethrough, and being re-collected into oneself as into a sack stitched from within, like a re-stitching of the self, a process which allows re-birth; a process of internal creation of new “organs” closer to the inner self of the inner truth. The process allows transformation and redemption, getting in touch with the truth and with the Divine self, so as to be the gate of tears in the rain of roses.

From Earth to Heaven - Prof. Haviva Pdaya