We are excited to announce the launch of a brand new art prize. The Batsheva Art Prize was established in 2023 by the family of Batsheva Revivo-Ziser and The Lobby Art Space to commemorate Batsheva through supporting visual artists. Each year the prize will award 30,000 ILS to help artists realize projects and ideas at our space in Tel Aviv. The prize will be launched on 18 October 2023 following a launch exhibition featuring works by Batsheva herself and a variety of objects created by friends and family.
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Batsheva (Batshi) was born in Jaffa in 1959 to Haviva and Raphael Revivo, who immigrated to Israel from Morocco in the 1950s. The youngest of 9 siblings, she grew up in Jaffa and, in her 20s, met her ex-partner, Shmulik Ziser. They moved to London, where their five children were born: Guy, Ron, Shier, Roie, and Adam. After a long battle with breast cancer in 2019 Batshi passed away.
Despite the hardship that she endured, Batshi always maintained a passion for beauty and had a rare talent for recognizing and pursuing it in many fields: food, fashion, music, art, and architecture. This passion is perhaps related to the multicultural environment in which she grew up. Her curiosity and engagement increased when she moved to London. She traveled extensively, especially onboard her beloved boat, Toda, so named after her sense of gratitude, which attained new meaning after her cancer diagnosis, to live a full and satisfied life.
Objects and images made and collected by Batsheva. Courtesy of the family.
Her passion for culture and art was manifested in frequent visits to galleries and museums and a constant search for unique objects she collected from places worldwide, especially flea markets. She collected things that fascinated her – from fine art objects to furniture found on the street, porcelain sculptures, unique clothing items, old tapestries to reuse, and a collection of hearts in all shapes and materials.
Batshi herself made objects in various media: ceramics, photography, and created sculptures from unusual soft materials. She knitted a huge dress from recording tape, a photographic series of abandoned chairs, and readymade ensembles, including a large globe to which she attached miniature soldiers. Even if she didn’t always realize her ideas fully, they were a constant presence in her life and a prism to look around her. She shared her fascination with art with her son Ron, an artist with an MFA from the Royal College of London who works primarily as a sculptor and will serve as one of the judges for our inaugural prize.
Orit Mor, 2023
Images, clippings and objects from Batsheva's archive. Including Work and note by friends Menashe Kadishman and Zadok Ben-David. Clipping from 1990 issue of Metropolitan Home magazine featuring interior of Batsheva and Shmulik's home designed in collaboration with Ron Arad. Courtesy of the family.
My mother Batsheva was born in 1959, Tel Aviv Jaffa.
The art she created in later life undoubtedly was influenced by this diverse Arab-Israeli coastal corner of tel aviv, particularly the sea and the flea markets that surrounded her home and where her father made his living in an antique store.
She then moved in her early 20s to London, where over a 30 year span she managed to make an eclectic repertoire of pieces including ceramic, photography and mixed media sculptures. In one case literally ‘mixed media’, an intricate ball gown knitted out of dozens of cassette tape reels. She did this whilst raising me and my four brothers and becoming a central figure in the Israeli social and cultural scene of north London.
Looking through her works now to collate a collection of pieces has made me reflect on how as children we often don’t really see our parents for who they really are. The all encompassing role of mother overshadowed a lot of her other passions and talents, at least in my perception of her. Looking through her artworks, writings and workbooks has made me appreciate her in a different way, acknowledging her talents beyond raising a family and making a beautiful home. I hope friends and family who view this collection of her pieces also manage to see a part of her that maybe they didn’t get to whilst she was alive, and learn something new about this incredible woman. And for those who didn’t have the privilege of meeting her, I hope that regardless these works manage to move you in some way or inspire a thought you didn’t have before.
The arts prize in her memory will be a lasting legacy for a woman who inspired and touched so many of us with her love for people and passion for life itself, and the ways in which she expressed this. With great thanks to Orit Mor for founding this concept and bringing it to fruition.
Shier Ziser 2023