alice zilberberg
In Home

Transparent Sky Over Large Mountain in my Homeland

alice zilberberg
In Home

Fire Sky over Distant Home, Seascape

surreal landscape photography
In Home

Pink Sky over Distant Homeland

surreal landscape art
In Home

Blue Mountains of Foreign Homeland

alice zilberberg art
In Home

Fire Sky Over Distant Home, Landscape

surreal landscape photography
In Home

Salmon Sky over Mountains of My Foreign Homeland

alice zilberberg home
In Home

Storm Sky Over Distant Home

surreal landscape photography
In Home

Blue Mist over Foreign Homeland

surreal landscape photography
In Home

Yellow Sky over Foreign Homeland

Home

This body of work is a reflection of my personal background, and was influenced by a trip I took in the summer of 2013. The landscapes are composited from the two countries that comprise my inherited, and experienced, identity: Israel and Canada. I had been waiting for the opportunity to fly back to Israel, to where I grew up, for twelve and a half years.

 

As a child, relocation was frequent. I moved to Israel from Estonia when I was 2 years old, living initially in a small Kibbutz and, later, in a Moshav with my older brother and my mother. I was generally a happy kid, I had lots of friends, I was studious, and my love for art was nurtured. This backdrop shifted, however, when we moved to Canada when I was 11. As a kid, I remember thinking that moving to North America would be a terrific experience, that I would change for the better and make something of myself in that “promised land”. The transition was trying for an adolescent.

 

Coming to Toronto, I had to adjust to the language, the city, and the people. Making friends was daunting for a foreign kid in elementary school, not finding my classmates, or the weather, as friendly as before. For a long time, I was extremely unhappy, and it took me about four years to really digest that I’d be staying in Canada for a while. It wasn’t until we moved again, from mid-town to the suburbs at age 14 that I started feeling better about my situation. Things began to settle incrementally, and eventually the craving to go back wore off.

 

Visiting Israel at 24 was a very emotional, personal experience. When I landed, just the smell of the air felt overwhelmingly familiar, and hearing the language felt like home. I spent a month traveling the country, including the two small places where I was raised, capped by a few week staying in Tel Aviv. Social interactions made me realize this place I called home was not as familiar as I romanticized. I speak Hebrew fluently, yet people knew instantly that I didn’t live in Israel anymore. My mannerisms were more Canadian than Israeli, and I was slow to grasp social cues. In Israel I was Canadian, and in Canada I was Israeli. Journeying back to Toronto, I realized both, and neither, are home to me.

 

This project is the processing of my story. The landscapes fuse Canada and Israel; the bottom half, the terrain, was photographed in the deserts of Israel, and the skies were taken in Canada. They are digitally manipulated to appear otherworldly, like a different planet, representing a place I am estranged from. In them I see a familiarity, a place that is so beautiful, that has recognizable features, but somewhere I feel alien.