Bella Hvatskin – painter, writer, decorator and costume designer, teaching, painting, living and working in the "Painting from the Belly" studio on Kibbutz Lehavot HaBashan.
Born in Moscow, immigrated to Israel in 1997. Married and mother of three children.
I live in a constant search.
Ten years ago, I started working with a technique that incorporates body embedding on canvas. The idea of imprinting myself, painting with my body, was created out of a desire to rebel with the classical painting technique. A desire to eliminate the work of my skilled hand holding the paintbrush, to delete years of rigid, uncompromising Russian techniqal learning.
I love the imprinting technique because it has a great ability to catch movement on canvas. However, as time passed, I started broadening my imprinting techniques by imprinting of wet paint and producing a 'negative' image on canvas. At that time, my mind was occupied by my children's happiness; the little child, arriving so naive to the world, and the gap between my childhood and the childhood of my own children, growing up on a kibbutz.
In 2014 after my third child was born, my art focused on the woman's body, from the cruel point of view of her own eyes, looking thorough lenses of criticism and self-hatred. As part of my research on obesity, I issued a series of body shots, bursting out of them into a series of blatant and rebellious works.
Since 2016 I have been writing the "Blah Blah Blog", creating reality with words and color. It's a short story blog, telling humorous autobiographical stories, memories of the Soviet Union or documents of my life in Israel as an immigrant, as a mother whose children pronounce her name with a heavy Israeli accent. Each story is accompanied by an illustration. The illustrations are done on aged pages, taken from an old children book written by Gianni Rodari, which I received as a gift for my eighth birthday. At that time I was still tying a red pioneer tie, knowing the "place" I belonged to. Rodari was an Italian communist author of children’s books, whose works glorified communism, and were part of the brainwashing that every child in Soviet Russia underwent. On the torn pages from Rodari’s book I paint my new life and my old memories. There on the torn, delicate and fragile page, is the connection between past and present, a mixture of words and color.
In recent years, "place" has become the main theme of my art. As an immigrant, for years I have been searching for my place (some physical space), home or land to which I belong. I hoped that after 22 years in Israel, I would feel less detached, more attached, but reality proves otherwise, I am still an immigrant seeking her identity, and the place I belong to exists only in my paintings.
In the past year I've been working on a series of paintings called 'Place'. I build my new art on the foundations of my past, leaving behind the rigid Russian education, abandoning the years of painting studies in Soviet Moscow. Today I do not want to think about what is allowed and what is not allowed in the old art world. I mix the paint bravely, tearing and cutting paper illustrations of classic paintings to re-paste the pieces. Humor has a pivotal role in my art, I laugh at the absurd laws of society and about the self-importance humans have, and especially about myself.
Name: Bella Hvatskin
Date of Aliyah: 09/01/1997
Address: Israel, Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, 12125
P.O. Box 268
Mobile: 050 -2606036
Artist:, Owner and teacher of a successful drawing studio,“gut-Drawing” in Lehavot Habashan..
Award-winning Set and costume designer
Living and creating art at Kibuttz Lehavot Habashan, in the Upper Galilee.
Married, with 3 children.
2008: Museum Hutzot Yaffo. Group Exhibition
2009: The Mirror Theater, Kiriat Shmona: Individual exhibition “Body, Form and Color”.
2010: The Jaffa Knight Tower Gallery. “Light”. Group Exhibition
2012: The Advocate Towers Gallery, Tel Aviv. Group Exhibition
2013: Lake Ra’anana Gallery. Exhibition “Winter Salon” Group Exhibition
2014: Tel Hai Gallery: Exhibition “Galilee Winds”. Curator
2015: Festival "Between the vineyards". Individual exhibition
2016: Art Galil 1 Group Exhibition
2017: Art Galil 2 Curator
2018: Art Galil 3 Group Exhibition
2018: Bashan Gallery. Solo exhibition
Theater Set and costume design:
2000-2018 Set and costume designer for more than forty theater shows
2002 First award for set design for the play "breaking a butterfly". Haifa Festival children's shows. By Yael Navy . Director Gay Gutman
2016 "Golden Porcupine" award for design for the play "To life" by Gili Ivri,
director Gili Ivri
2017 "Golden Porcupine" award for set design for the play "Bull" by Mike Bartlett, director Orly Rabanyan
Education and Training:
1997 – 2000: Haifa University.
Course in Art Creation
Course in Theater Stage Design
1995 – 1996: Moscow University
Course in Psychology
1984 – 1995: High School Education (Moscow), Full Diploma
1991 – 1993: "1905" Moscow Art College.
1983 – 1990: Private painting and drawing lessons with leading teachers