About

I am an intuitive artist.

I create with a desire to bring peace to the world around and also to the people where I live.

I am inspired by childhood in South Africa and Zimbabwe, my garden which surrounds me and Jerusalem.

I have exhibited in the four continents - Israel, the USA, Portugal, Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Poland, Russia, China, Japan, Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK.

My art is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert London, the Ben Uri Jewish Museum, London, the Tama Art Museum, Tokyo, the Tel Aviv Museum and the Israel Museum Jerusalem. 

From the monograph

IN THE SHADE OF THE JACANDA

Pamela Silver

by Gideon Ofrat


Preface: "And sweet is the light in the eyes" ?

It was 1988, and in the course of a visit to Jerusalem's Artists House, I was surprised to discover Pamela Silver's abstract aquarelles hanging on the walls. Having been brought up on the bright, transparent Mediterranean aquarelles of early Israeli painters and their New Horizons successors – forever bearing a melancholic, poetic thread in light blues and greys – I was amazed to find myself confronting an unparalleled eruption of brightly-coloured joi de vivre and a radiation of happiness unlike anything I had ever encountered. I had always been convinced that art draws its potency from the painful, the dread-filled and the bitter, and I tended to dismiss paintings that were "joyful and happy". I found it difficult to accept the association of happiness with art, as put forward by American philosopher George Santiana, and was even reluctant to enthuse too much over Henri Matisse and his joi de vivre. But here, on the walls of Artists House, I clearly identified an association of quality and happiness; I wondered at the artist's rare capacity for expressing such an abundance of happiness, and the possibility, nevertheless, of a link between creativity and the joy of living. I recall expressing my wonder to the artist, to her apparent mild embarrassment.

Some twenty five years after that first encounter, I revert with redoubled interest, to the creativity of Pamela Silver; I attempt to look through the rings of positivity, to pierce the veils of happiness – would I discover a sour bitterness underneath that sweetness ? Would I find that, in a paraphrase on the title of a volume of Yehuda Amihai's poetry, "Behind all this lurks a great sadness" ? But perhaps – just maybe – it was precisely the power of affirmation of life, that was the power to spawn creativity ? I recall Henri Bergson's 1911 description of "Δ’lan vitale" – the dynamic force that generates life – as the instinctive energy of art:

"Reality is no longer revealed in a static state. It is revealed in dynamic manner, amidst continuation and fluctuation of its direction. Everything that was a mobile island frozen in our perception thaws out and goes on the move. Everything is aroused to life about us, everything arising within us. One mighty leap has shifted off the creatures and objects. We sense how it elevates us, how we are carried away , we live more …"

I ponder further over the centrality of intuition in Pamela Silver's creative process and in Bergson's metaphysical and aesthetic concept of "the purpose of life".

"It is this purpose that the artist aspires to grasp again, replicating himself into the motif in a kind of sympathy, and, by an effort of intuition, demolishing the screen that space has placed between himself and his model. In truth, that aesthetic intuition, and likewise the external perception, has no foothold other than in the individual ."

In Benedetto Croce's Aesthetics, (1909), the philosopher argued that any genuine intuition is simultaneously an utterance:

"Intuitive knowledge is expressive knowledge [….] grasping intuitively is to express. […] We have identified the intuitive or expressive knowledge or with an artistic fact, when we regard artistic creations as examples of instinctive knowledge and attribute to them the characteristics of intuition ."

In his 1913 Guide to Aesthetics , Croce added:
"Feeling is what endows intuition with continuity and unity; and intuition is truly intuition when it describes some feeling, and it is exclusively from that feeling that it can be created and take root .

Elan de vie, intuition, feeling – welcome to the world of Pamela Silver.

Gideon Ofrat