Accepted by the Avni Institute of Art in Tel Aviv as its youngest student at age 16, Bruria Bat-Zvi studied under some of Israel’s leading artists who served as guides and patrons early in her career.
She became one of Israel’s top fashion designers following her military service. She developed lines of fine leather garments and art-to-wear which made a tremendous impact upon both the European and U.S. markets and were prominently featured in many international shows.
In the early 1970’s, Bat-Zvi lived in Nigeria. During her years there she constantly struggled to find art supplies and material s. Paints, brushes, and canvas were scarce. Finally, an unexpected alternative emerged from the local street bazaar. Bat-Zvi’s early experimentation with the vibrant and colorful fabrics she found at the marketplace developed into a new form of expression called “Fabric Collage Tapestry.” Her thirty-plus years of working and perfecting this technique have culminated in many art gallery shows, museum exhibits, media recognition and international acclaim.
When working in Fabric Collage Tapestry, Bat-Zvi uses the patterns and designs of the fabrics to create a total composition. Each layer is meticulously cut to fit a specific part of the design and then is carefully positioned to contribute to the total creation. The work begins with a large background fabric, serving as a base upon which several more layers are built. A completed tapestry could include up to ten layers of both opaque and translucent fabrics, including nets in various colors for purposes of depth and shading effects.
Bat-Zvi’s works are currently found in galleries, private collections, and museums in the United States and around the world. Utilizing her mastery of different media she captivates her audience with beautiful tapestries, acrylic paintings, bronze sculptures, as well as mixed-media creations using unconventional and exotic materials. Her work has the feel of three-dimensional layers of extremely varied colors, demonstrating total control of the media, an acute understanding of color composition, natural balance and a powerful message.
She likes to give homage (with a twist of humor) to paintings of the great masters that she loves such as Picasso, Matisse, and others – enjoying adding her own wink and nod to each of them.
Above all, her creations as an artist are reflections of her social and political positions, and the concept of the artist as protestor. One of her most important works, The Never Ending Horror Story (see video above), reflects that sense of protest. Other works, such as Looking Beyond the Uniform, are a tribute to the Israel Defense Forces.