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Four Corners of the Earth is a collaborative piece done for my research project, Engaging from Afar. The piece is a tallit made using cyanotype, a printmaking process that uses photo-reactive chemicals to create images using the sun. To make the blue folds, I used fabric pretreated with the photo-reactive chemicals and wore it in the traditional way religious men wear a tallit. Cyanotype is one of my favorite materials to work with because the moment of its making is embedded in finished project – the result is a portable monument to the moment of its creation. Each corner of the garment was adorned with a tassel, or tzitzit, using traditional strings dyed with tcheilet, a blue dye derived from a specific sea snail. It was a collaborative effort as each tassel was tied differently by the four members of my immediate family according to four separate Rabbinic traditions.  


On high holidays, a father holds his tallit above his head, shielding his children as they receive the priestly blessing. A bride and groom stand beneath its four corners, as they become a unit before the community. And finally, in death, one is wrapped in a tallit as they are put to rest. The tallit is as icon of Jewish faith, a comfort, a shield, a symbol of pride. I chose to create a tallit because of its significance in Judaism as iconography of Jewish ritual and life itself. The tallit is present for most major life milestones –becoming an adult (bar/bat mitzvah), marriage, and death – and is constant presence in daily prayer, thus was a natural extension of the themes I was exploring in my other collaborations. 

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