Reli Wasser

Idea is the Main Cause for Creation

One of Tzfat's most active young artists is Reli Wasser, who is quickly developing a name for herself not only for her own artwork, but for her activism in reviving the Artists' Quarter in Tzfat and creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere among the artists' community that encourages other young artists to make their homes and galleries in Tzfat.

Reli's mixes her techniques with mosaics. She uses a large variety of materials in her artwork, which is divided into two areas. The first of these areas is fine art, mostly painting, where Reli can express her feelings about different subjects and the belief that "Idea" is the main cause for Creation. The second area of interest for Reli is mosaics, which she terms "creating with love". Reli's mosaics are created with a variety of materials, including stones, glass, metal, wood and various recycled materials. They explore such themes as Judaism and Israel as well as women's issues and social and political topics. In addition to her art pieces, Reli's mosaic jewelry, often with Jewish and Kabbalistic meanings, are some of the most creative jewelry exhibited in Tzfat.

Reli's gallery in the General Exhibition of the Artists Quarter reflects these two directions of her artwork. Her "Ketuba's Angle" is a stunning rendition of a real Ketuba, a wedding contract, decorated by a mosaic outline and "framed" under the Hebrew letter "Chet", the first letter of the word "Chuppa", or wedding canopy. A second work, "Splashes of Ruling" utilizes two old Roman silver coins, one which depicts the helmeted head of the goddess Rome and the second showing the helmeted head of the god Mars. Surrounded by her mosaic interpretation of how these coins represent gods, soldiers, workers, and the rulers and the ruled, Reli has created a work whose message is as timeless as these newly found coins are.

In addition to her own artwork and gallery, Reli has exhibited extensively throughout Israel. A particular interest of hers is creating exhibits whereby a group of artists explore a certain theme, each in his or her own way. In galleries and museums from Israel's north to the south, Reli has served as curator of exhibits on a wide variety of subjects and issues, including "He and She", "The Olive", "The Many Faces of Kiryat Shmoneh", "The Yellow Star", "Bravery and Miracles" and more.

Art as a Message

Reli doesn't shy away from tackling controversial issues either, and she often works on art projects whose aim is to send a strong message.  An example of a recent work is a statue of cans from a local canning factory which was in danger of closing, creating a tremendous loss of jobs in the region.  Reli mobilized local residents, workers and children from the area to build a statue from the factory's cans, directing attention to the plight of the workers.  Plans to close the factory were shortly thereafter put on hold.

For many years, the Artists Association of Tzfat has struggled to attract new young artists. With Reli inspiring and striving for continued growth and change, the future of the Artists Community in Tzfat seems bright.