Sasha Bergmann Lichtenstein

Judaica - Potter - Collaborative Artist - Art Educator
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Boston Area


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Fine Art by Sasha

Book Sculptures

The “Books” are a series of ceramic sculptures, originally commissioned for the 11th Annual New England Ceramic Artists show at the Boston Athenaeum in the Fall of 1996. The sculptures—titled “Tree of Life” —are composed of dozens of antique-replica books, each uniquely designed and crafted. The sculptures are available in a variety of formats, from individual books to 2 1/2-foot-tall combinations (like the one shown), and everything in between.

What Form Shall I Take Today?

This sculpture explores the shadow side of beauty in our culture. This large, rectangular façade has a woman’s form cut out of it that is too tall and too thin, just as most current images of women are in contemporary magazines today. This form is filled from bottom to top with granulated sugar, then sugar cubes, and finally hundreds of female torsos, Barbie dolls recreated out of porcelain clay, punctured with staples and pins to symbolize the emotional and physical pain that many women put themselves through as they attempt to fit into this contemporary “cookie cutter” image. The sculpture is elegant, pristine, and beautiful from a distance, yet as the viewer approaches the sculpture (and topic of eating disorders and body image) the bitter-sweetness, agony, and pain are revealed to those willing to see. "What form shall I take today" is now on permanent display at the Brandeis University Women’s Center in Waltham, MA.

The Tree of Life

The central image on this quilt symbolizes the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. In Jewish mysticism the Tree of Life represents a path of life-long learning; the Torah is referred to as the “Eitz Chayyim—the Tree of Life.” According to the mystics, the Torah is considered to hold all the information needed by God to create the world, and by humans to create in the world. This information is held first of all in the words that are written, and the black ink is sometimes described as “black fire.” The information about creation is also said to be held in the words that are not written, in the many interpretations and stories that come from the Torah, through rabbis, scholars and ourselves. These un-written words are sometimes described as “white fire.” Hence, the Torah as Tree of Life is expressed as “black fire dancing on white fire.”

The Hebrew letters on the Tree spell “Chai” which mean “Life,” as in the words “L’Chaim—To Life!” Numerically the letters add up to the number 18, and multiples of 18 are often used to designate life-giving activities. May this quilt inspire you to bring more life into everything you do, and to continue your life-long pursuit into the mysteries of the universe.