What do you see when you look at me? They say that we only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression. That’s basically the blink of an eye for a complete stranger to decide what they think of us by taking in our facial features and expressions. If this is true then you might want to keep that in mind when you meet Ariel Katzir, the talented Perth based artist who will be setting up an installation at The Other Side. I had a chat with Ariel about her art, inspirations and a sneaky hint at what we might expect to see from her next week.
Ariel takes a look at our faces and through bright acrylics and ink intricately draws the details of what she sees. Observing the features and odd shapes, the lines, the symmetries and even more so, the asymmetries, so intently she’s been known to stare.
“The fact the everyone looks so different is crazy to me. There are so many of us yet we are all so unique. I’m also attracted to face features that are not symmetrical and moving parts, like the mouth. I’ve been told off by a few people for staring at their lips whilst they are talking, as they wipe their lips they think I’m staring at food stuck in their teeth. So I make sure I concentrate to hold eye contact.“
Her aesthetic is very linear and it is clear that some features get more attention than others, huge lips, exaggerated eyes, sharp angled jaw lines… You’ll forgive her for staring I’m sure, when you see just how striking her drawings turn out to be. How her interpretation of the human face goes beyond the superficial and into something much more soulful, empathetic and understanding of the inner human spirit.
Encouraged by a “weird and wonderful” artist and lecturer during her studies in Fashion & Textiles to look inside the body and work her way out was the start of her obsession. “It actually blew my mind, #mindblown, I even remember the first class thinking, ‘I’ll never look at a body or face the same again’ and from then on I just got obsessed with getting everyone’s lines down on paper and it became an addiction, which has made me into an artist.“
So what else inspires her art apart from the lines on your face? Movement and music she says. Motivation to create comes purely from life and the act of living. She admits creating does come easier for her when she has had an overwhelming experience emotionally or physically.
“Being alive in general is motivating. Knowing I might be here for a while so I might as well do something I love. I always ask myself with anything I do ‘am I hurting myself or others’ and if the answer is no to both then I know I’m doing the right thing.”
This compassionate side of Ariel is probably what drew her into the world of Art therapy, which she is currently in training for. Art therapy uses art as a way of helping people express themselves who find it difficult to explain using words. Ariel says that it allows them to find comfort in expressing themselves through art instead. When she first read about it as a healing modality it sent goose-bumps all over her body.
“Then and there I filled in an application, got in and have been pushed out of my comfort zone ever since. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have a lot to learn still, but I’m so grateful to have found art therapy and to have the chance to help others when I have gained enough knowledge.”
So what can we expect from Ariel at The Other Side event and how did she approach the concept of “the other side”?
The name of the show ‘The other side’ is what really made my brain go into a spiral of ideas and concepts. There was one night where I was in the studio messing around with a friend with some art mediums and we ended up blind drawing each other, the idea being we could only look at each other, not the piece of paper whilst we drew. When we finished he said something along the lines of ‘wow! It looks like another world’ which clicked in my mind that it related well to the concept of the show.
The Other Side, 7pm Saturday 25 February 2017 at Fridays Studio, 13 Old Aberdeen Place West Perth. Entry will be free before 8pm and $15 thereafter. 18+ Event.