visual artist / photographer


Bird Lands

December 2010

Blue Mountains

Venice in Snow

Ghost Grounds

Totems & Wrecks

Broken Landscapes

Sheep & Airplanes

Lovely Birds






orna wertman

art works exhibitions books publications contact

Photography, Airplanes & Sheep

9/6 - 11/8 /2002 Museum De Beyerd, Breda, Holland

Boschstraat 22 4811GH Breda, Tel.: +31 (0)76 529 99 00

Orna Wertman's Photoworks and installations

Orna Wertman's oeuvre covers twenty years. The newest developments - Wertman is the inventor of the 'puzzle collage' - are now shown in the exhibition Photography, Airplanes & Sheep in museum De Beyerd, in Breda, The Netherlands. De Beyerd presents Orna Wertman's photoworks that are based on a collage of photos and jigsaw puzzles of different measurements in combination with installations. The artist's background as a painter can be seen in her work that positions itself between photography and painting. The way she looks at things and what she wants to express in her work is of greater importance to her than using the medium in a traditional manner.

Landscapes, airplanes and sheep

A recurring motif in the photoworks of Orna Wertman is the landscape: natural landscapes as well as cultural landscapes. It is a romantic and popular theme, full of symbolism and contrasts. Landscapes, airplanes and sheep figure in her collages as staged elements, and are also present in small installations of plastic groves, small wooden houses, toy-sheep and - airplanes. This leads to a redoubling of an imagined reality, i.e. as a photographic reproduction and as a miniature object. Wertman uses this juxtaposition in order to call attention to the relationship between image and representation. She wants to show that the romantic image of 'innocent' little lambs in a landscape is at odds with the inhuman treatment of animals in the bio-industry. Just like the sheep airplanes play a double role. Next to the romantic association with big birds and freedom, there is always the threat of a possible crash... The artist combines different visual clich?s to form something new and asks us to reflect on the harmony and the conflicts called forth by that confrontation.

A Romantic and an Aesthete

Orna Wertman calls herself a romantic and an aesthete. A romantic because of her love of nature and an aesthete because of the importance she attaches to harmonious compositions and formal aspects like colour, texture and transparency. Her recent collages are large and technically perfect, because the original models are digitally photographed and enlarged in a photolab. This causes the punched out puzzle pieces to play an important visual role and increases the feeling of alienation in her work. Orna Wertman's work - collages of jigsaw puzzles, photos of her own, and ready-mades - deals with the fragmentation of our perception and the concomitant experience of reality. As such she comments on globalisation from a personal perspective.

Orna Wertman was born in Ramat-Gan, Israel and studied at the University of Haifa. She came to The Netherlands in 1983 and since then lives and works in Amsterdam.

untitled 2002 154 x 125 cm puzzle photo collage

untitled 2000 51x75 cm photo collage

untitled 2000/1 54x75 cm photo collage

' 09-11' (detail) 2001 6.5x178x60 cm plastic, wood