Fine Arts: Hanukkah Diary in Pictures

Inna Rogatchi (C). Stil Life with Silver Thread I. 2020.

 The Warmth of Home and New Dutch School Art Series

Inna Rogatchi(C). New Dutch School I. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, Chinese red paste, encre l’alcool on authored original archival print on Museum Etching cotton paper. New Dutch School series. 45 x 60 cm. 2020.

Everything is different this year. Our routine, our celebrations, our thinking, our perception. Just everything. 

Fighting the  array of darknesses – the literal one, the metaphorical one, the psychological one, the rational and irrational ones – we are getting into the new realms, often subconsciously, often involuntarily. When we notice, we are deep into the territories never explored before practically in anything that we all do: writing, painting, composing, creating, inventing, engineering, high-teching. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life in Double Yellow. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, Indian ink, encre l’alcool on authored original archival pint on Museum Velin cotton paper. New Dutch School series. 45 x 60 cm. 2020.

What pandemic upside-downing of our world, the global one, and billions individual ones, has done for us is the change of perspective and an accelerated search of new anything and everything. Very often, that new is a form. I think it always is a form, actually  – because I believe that deep down, the meaning that we are looking for in our experiments, arts including,  is primarily, if not always,  the same, belonging to the same range of core matters. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life in Gold I. The Warmth of Home series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, encre l’alcool, perle d’or on authored original archival print on cotton paper. 50 x 50 cm. 2020.

Looking at the newly discovered  prehistoric art  in Colombia, that extraordinary archaeological breakthrough dubbed ‘The Sistine Chapel of the Ancients’ , I can clearly see that the meaning of the images created by the people in prehistoric age is absolutely similar to the meaning which we have in mind creating an artwork today. I saw there the groups of people of three, four and five, groups of birds, different animals, imprints of human hands, all this in variable messages of humanity, referring perhaps to a family, perhaps to friends, clearly to a household, and individual reflections. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still-Life in Orange II. New Dutch School series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, encre l’alcool, perle d’or on authored original archival print on Museum Velin cotton paper. 45 x 60 cm. 2020.

I am not sure about ‘the Sistine Chapel’ in the midst of the vast Amazon forest, but a wealth of human approach in questing life by art images what we see there is all the same questions that were and are reflected upon by artists at any given time, from Renaissance to Warhol. It just confirms that in art, a form can  – and must, for the sake of interest and vivacity – be different, but the essence is the same. It is humanity in its different aspects. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life with Lemons and Lemons IV. New Dutch School series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, encre l’alcool, perle de janue on authored original archival print Museum Etching cotton paper. 50 x 50 cm. 2020.

And now we are entering the eight days of Hanukkah when we will be hoping for a miracle as never before, all of us. Always coming in the darkest period of a year, Hanukkah is usually a celebration of an uplifted spirit  originated from those eternal flames that we cherish from the time of the Maccabeans. This year, the eight days of our celebration of light in the midst of darkness are also close to mark the ending of this weird, impossible, so very difficult year of the pandemic. It is not only the virus that got pandemic, it is also prompted by it encompassing stress upon stress, fears, tiredness, isolation.

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life in Violet I. New Dutch School series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, Chinese red paste, encre l’alcool, perle d’or on authored original archival print on Museum Etching cotton paper. 50 x 50 cm. 2020.

We are strained and wear off. We need a miracle as never before, in memory of three generations. We do need light in extra-quantities, metaphorically too. And we need warmth, the most precious power from the Court of Good, to comfort us, at any given time during this ongoing covid-marred life, and especially so during the Hanukkah this year which is another holiday to be held by the new rules which are as harsh as anything that covid-life dictates. 

Inna Rogatchi(C). Still Life in the Mood of Orange I. The Warmth of Home series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, hand-applied pigments of gold and copper, perle d’or on authored original archival print on Museum Etching cotton paper. 50 x 50 cm. 2020.

Recently, I have created a new series aiming to search for an emphatic role of a colour . The colour that illuminates different kinds of darknesses around us, both literal and metaphorical ones. But not only illuminates – because it is possible to have a light which does not provide warmth, cold light which is a frightening concept, to me. I was trying to create the warming up colours and compositions in these new series of modern still lifes, New Dutch School and The Warmth of Home. 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life in Red and Green III. New Dutch School series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel. lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, Chinese red paste, perle d’or on authored original archival print on Museum Velin cotton paper. 50 x 50 cm. 2020.

Home is an important concept here, for both series. It comforts, and we all do need it today in a double measure. Thus, the subject of these two new art series has become the colour which enlightens at the home which warms up. By setting the artistic metaphor in the subjects of our daily life, I aimed to bring this enlightening and warming up colours of our home to everyone. And what is the best time of the year to do it other than Hanukkah? 

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life in Red II. New Dutch School series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, Chinese red paste, encre l’alcool, perle de jaune on authored original archival print on Museum Etching cotton paper. 50 x 50 cm. 2020.

Here, I have chosen some images from the both series to correspond in numbers to eight days of our celebration of light and its warmth, to present the Hanukkah diary in pictures. 

More works from these series in full can be seen here  and here

Inna Rogatchi (C). Still Life with Lemons 3×3. New Dutch School series. Watercolour, wax pastel, oil pastel, lapice pastel, crayons Luminance, encre l’alcool, perle de jaune on authored original archival print on Museum Velin cotton paper. 45 x 60 cm. 2020.

Chag Hanukkah Sameach to everyone, let’s the light of our miracle be embracing, comforting and warming up us all. 

About the Author
Inna Rogatchi is internationally acclaimed writer, scholar, artist, art curator and film-maker, the author of widely prized film on Simon Wiesenthal The Lessons of Survival. She is also an expert on public diplomacy and was a long-term international affairs adviser for the Members of the European Parliament. She lectures on the topics of international politics and public diplomacy widely. Her professional trade-mark is inter-weave of history, arts, culture and mentality. She is the author of the concept of the Outreach to Humanity cultural and educational projects conducted internationally by The Rogatchi Foundation of which Inna is the co-founder and President. She is also the author of Culture for Humanity concept of The Rogatchi Foundation global initiative that aims to provide psychological comfort to wide audiences by the means of high-class arts and culture in challenging times. Inna is the wife of the world renowned artist Michael Rogatchi. Her family is related to the famous Rose-Mahler musical dynasty. Together with her husband, Inna is a founding member of Leonardo Knowledge Network, a special cultural body of leading European scientists and artists. Her professional interests are focused on Jewish heritage, arts and culture, history, Holocaust and post-Holocaust. She is running several projects on artistic and intellectual studies on various aspect of the Torah and Jewish spirituality. She is twice laureate of the Italian Il Volo di Pegaso Italian National Art, Literature and Music Award, the Patmos Solidarity Award, and the New York Jewish Children's Museum Award for Outstanding Contribution into the Arts and Culture (together with her husband). Inna Rogatchi was the member of the Board of the Finnish National Holocaust Remembrance Association and is member of the International Advisory Board of The Rumbula Memorial Project ( USA). Her art can be seen at Silver Strings: Inna Rogatchi Art site - www.innarogatchiart.com
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