Israeli sculptor Ronit Baranga is famous for her figurative art that lies “on the border between the living and still life”. Her portfolio is large and astonishing, it includes beast-like infants and mother goddesses. Over the past few years, Ronit has come up with human mouths and fingers emerging from crockery – cups, plates and kettles.
“The blurred border between the living and the still in these works is intriguing,” she writes on her website. “It makes you think. In this combination of the still and the alive joined as one, I try to change the way in which we observe useful tableware. The useful, passive tableware can now be perceived as an active object, aware of itself and its surroundings – responding to it. It does not allow to be taken for granted, to be used. It decides on its own how to behave in the situation. This is how I prefer to think about my plates and cups. Metaphorically, of course. What about you…?”
In Ronit’s latest series, the relationship between the “doubtfully alive” vessels becomes physical. They lean on each other, pinching, hugging, embracing. Their porcelain bodies react. Perhaps these pieces seem to convey that it is us alone, we humans, who ultimately animate, confer meaning upon the most static and voiceless of things. They are nothing without us. We mobilise the world.
Born in 1973, Ronit obtained a B.A. in Psychology and Hebrew Literature from Haifa University. She later studied Art History at Tel-Aviv University and Practical Arts at Beit-Berl College, The Art School (‘HaMidrasha’) near Kfar Sava. Her accolades include the Israeli Ministry of Culture Award for 2016, the Juror’s Recommendation Prize at the 2012 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and an Honorable Mention Award at the China Kaolin Grand Prix of 2011.
Images used with permission.