I would like to start my speech by saying that I wish to be one of them, and I wish to be a bit of their shepherd as well.
My art is the story of my life, and although I hope I am only half way through with my journey, I wish to continue to share stories of emotions, facts, places, and love.
A powerful, ongoing search for truth, beauty, and harmony which envelops every living particle is at the core of all aspects of my life, including my art. I feel love for everything that is most beautiful, and for everything that reflects goodness.
Through the sheep that I portray in my art, I mainly seek to express philosophical concepts, often allegorically, using them a vehicle through which to express thoughts about myself or humanity as a whole.
It all started when I was a young girl. I stood there and watched them for what seemed like eternity, realizing what strong poetry emerged in what I saw, as if my gaze went beyond simple images to something deeper. In the eyes of the majority, these animals appeared stupid and empty, but to me everything seemed different. They inspired thoughts of kindness and sweetness.
The sheep bond together in a flock to form a white moving spot, one that is constantly looking for peace, seeking shade from the secular olives next to a stream of clear water in a vast green expanse, guided and protected by their only father, the shepherd.
It was then that I began to depict them in an attempt to recreate the same sense of gentleness, kindness and harmony that stayed with me as an emotional memory. As time passed, my curiosity grew stronger. I began to search, in the Bible among other places, for the figure of a sheep and the shepherd, noticing the important meaning attributed to them.
I came to the conclusion that we are all sheep, and every single individual is looking for a shepherd to grant us security, to guide us to green pastures and let us rest in the shade of an olive tree near a clear, fresh stream of water!
In my work I often see lambs, sheep, as flocks on the move, lead successfully to the right paths and trails by a good shepherd.
Sometimes I illustrate the lost sheep that looks at the rest of the flock from a distance, unlikely to every reach it.
Who among us, myself included, has ever felt like that? Several times I felt all of those feelings so strongly that they are visible in my works; it is an anxiety that runs through to the canvas.
When I said earlier that in the course of my life I would like to feel like a shepherd as well, it was far from me to try to replace or substitute my father above. I am mainly talking about myself and the role I play in my own family.
I sincerely hope to be a good shepherd for my children, who in this case are my own little sheep.
Sometimes the metaphor also tells the story of dramatic events, like in chapter fifty-three-Isaiah:
“Oppressed, he opened his mouth and let himself be humiliated; he was just like a lamb brought to slaughter, and as a mute sheep in front of its shearers, he did not open his mouth.”
I could cite many other verses that represent, in many different ways, the image of the sheep. In the Old Testament, the animal is portrayed literally, while in the New Testament it is depicted figuratively.
It is amazing how the sheep is described as a smart and extremely important animal. All sheep see, hear, think and learn like every single animal on earth, and, like men, every animal has a different level of intelligence. Often, the greater the appetite of the animal, the greater the effort he must make to receive his reward of good food.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for virtue.
The more I deepen the argument, the more I see the metaphorical comparison between the sheep and the humble, unpretentious man, who seeks out everything that is good.
In other words, my art is a hymn to good people, who through their abandonment and the trust they place in their guide are able to discover the essence of their being.
I conclude by thanking all those who leave traces of good thoughts all over the earth.