Biography: Ella Almog
Ella was born in 1959 in Lithuania and immigrated to Israel in 1978. In 1979 Ella started a nursing career in the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov). Ella began to sculpt in 1998. At that time Ella’s mother and sister have fallen desperately ill. Ella used sculpturing as an occupational therapy, a way of dealing with this difficulty. At first, Ella used clay to express the distress and feelings that emerged from the empathy to the pain of her mother and her sister. Sometime later, Ella discovered the wonderful art work of the stone artist Dvora Shavit. It took some convincing, but eventually Ella became Dvora’s disciple, learning the stone sculpturing craftsmanship. Later on in the year 2000 Ella was exposed to the art of galvanized iron mesh sculpturing, a new kind of sculpturing technique developed by the artist Shulamit Hartal who taught Ella how to bend iron mesh to her will. Ella uses and develops this technique up to this day. Ella’s first iron mesh sculptures were big and massive, coated with cement and fiberglass. As time passed Ella stopped coating the iron mesh, creating new kind of art. The iron mesh, as a raw material, has many contradictions: fragile and stiff, transparent and opaque, concealing and revealing, negative and positive. Ella’s work technique gives her art a new dimension, weaving matter and space in to a complete statue. Looking at Ella’s career in sculpturing reveals different periods in her life, mainly two. The first one was the expression of pessimism caused by the situation with her mother and her sister. The other part of Ella’s work expresses her great love for living things. After the death of her mother, Ella’s first granddaughter was born, filling her life and work with optimism. Expressing her daughter pregnancy, Ella created a collection starting with pregnant women statues leading to mother and child statues. In the year 2009 Ella presented an exhibition at “The Nahum Sokolov House “(The Journalists House, Kaplan 2 st, Tel-Aviv-Yafo), called “To Dance the Life’’. This exhibition was composed of iron mesh statues capturing the movement of dancers. This exhibition was created by the inspiration of Ella’s life in Lithuania which was all about the art of dancing. Ella believes that the pure-airy-virginal sculpturing creates a more vivid organic like a statue. Ella found a way to express her deep feelings and emotions through sculpturing; furthermore a part of Ella’s manifesto is in art, as it is in life. Compassion and empathy is the way of dealing with the entities that surrounds us and come in contact with us and our world. Due to numerous injuries to her hands, Ella was forced by the hospital to choose between her works with patients to sculpturing. Despite her great love for nursing, after 30 years of service, Ella chose to retire from the hospital. Nowadays Ella devotes her mind and body to the art of galvanized iron mesh sculpturing.