Parshat BaMidbar

Acrylic and charcoal on parchment, 2015

Artist: Doni Silver Simons,  USA

I am attracted to repetitive marking and patterning, to the ways that inventories are recorded, to the idea of community and to the unraveling of systems. Parashat B’Midbar is densely populated with these opportunities. However, it is with the simple directive to count that I resonate the most.

Within its seeming simplicity, the repetitive mark offers much information. It speaks about interval and alludes to counting, to recording, to time, to density, and to place. The subtle variation of each individual mark begins to exert itself when there are many present. While always remaining part of the whole, each mark exists within its own space, as do individuals.  United in bundles of five, an allusion to grouping (micro to macro), the marks conceptually represent the individual within the whole. The four verticals and a diagonal are a common western symbol for inventory appropriate for the counting in B’Midbar. Because counting is an external activity identifying and grouping independent entities, I have placed my marks on the outside of the diagram of the encampment. The diagram serves to identify B’Midbar and the camps, to concretize time and space. While the marks are symbolic, telling the story of counting.

About Doni

Doni Silver Simons is a painter, installation, and durational performance artist. A recipient of numerous grants and commissions, Silver Simons’ work is in many private and public collections in the United States, Israel and England.  Silver Simons lives and works in Los Angeles.



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