2 2022

BEKI Conversation with the Artist: Naomi Safran-Hon

12:45PM - 2:00PM  

Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel (BEKI) 85 Harrison Street
New Haven, CT 06515-1724
203-389-2108 office@beki.org

Contact Peggy Hackett


BEKI is hosting simultaneous shows by two women artists: Suzanne Neusner’s Fiber Arts in the upstairs gallery space and Naomi Safran-Hon’s Going Home downstairs (though with one painting upstairs).

The paintings in Naomi Safran-Hon’s exhibition depict neglected rooms, halls, and passageways with traces of their former inhabitants and the external forces that brought about their desolation. Through creating these paintings, the artist reflects on a complicated relationship to her homeland, Israel.

In these pieces, Safran-Hon combines photographs of abandoned homes in Wadi Salib, a neighborhood in her hometown of Haifa, with cement, fabric, lace, and acrylic paint. These structures, which were the homes of Palestinians until the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 and the creation of the State of Israel, stand as ghosts of the past in a neighborhood that has never recovered. Through the process of making her work, Safran-Hon reconstructs these buildings and asks the viewer to reconsider our ideas of home and belonging.

The gallery space at BEKI, Safran-Hon hopes, will draw these questions of home and belonging into a Jewish context, evoking the role of the congregation as a spiritual home, and of the synagogue building as a symbolic home in our tradition, as well as the political and ethnic ideas behind the making of a Jewish collective Home.

Born in Oxford, England, Safran-Hon grew up in Haifa. She received her B.A. in Studio Art and Art History summa cum laude from Brandeis University in 2008, and her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art in 2010. Safran-Hon had solo exhibitions at Slag Gallery, New York, RX Gallery, Paris, Brandt Gallery, Amsterdam, and Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, Texas.

Safran-Hon will give an in-person talk about her work on Saturday, April 2 at 12:45 pm. Sabbath rules will be observed. Her exhibition will run through June 4. To arrange a time to visit the galleries, email office@beki.org

Photo: Naomi Safran-Hon, The Curves in My Wall, 2017. Acrylic, gouache, lace, archival inkjet print, and cement on canvas, 46 x 76 in. © Naomi Safran-Hon