Jewish identity: This is what we feel now

By Anna Sheinman, February 28, 2013
Sophie Kelly’s winning artwork, The Torah is the tree of life

Sophie Kelly’s winning artwork, The Torah is the tree of life

We asked you what being Jewish means to you and you answered in your hundreds, with your words, pictures and even your glitter pens.

You told us about your fondness for gefilte fish, your meditations on Torah and your fervent love of Spurs, and over 100 Year Five and Six children, the future of Jewish identity in this country, created artworks, illustrating what being Jewish means to them.

This week, three leading members of the art world sifted through paintings, sculptures and collages, selecting the artworks they thought best conveyed meaning as well as talent.

Judges Anita Zabludowicz, co-founder of the Zabludowicz Collection of contemporary art in Chalk Farm, Mark Cass, founder of art supplies store Cass Art, and James Burke, creative director of art and design studio acrylicize were impressed with the standard of entries.

Ms Zabludowicz said: “They were full of surprises. Some of the art was very philosophical, really deep.”

But of course there had to be winners. Third prize went to ten-year-old Aron Finkelstein at Moriah Jewish Day School for his felt-tip on paper work, entitled Tradition.

Mark Cass said: “I thought it was very clever, way beyond the artist’s age. There were three or four references including Takashi Marakami and Roy Lichtenstein, which was of course very relevant because Lichtenstein has just opened at the Tate.” Aron has won an art class with Israeli-British artist Vik Jacobson-Frid.

Second prize went to Maayan Carno, in Year Five at Kerem School, whose spray-paint work of a white heart stencilled on a black background the judges felt was “strongly contemporary”.

Tradition, by Aron Finkelstein; and Jewish, by Maayan Carno

Tradition, by Aron Finkelstein; and Jewish, by Maayan Carno

Ms Zabludowicz said: “It had a very strong, clear message, held a certain maturity. It gave the message very clearly about the young artist’s feeling towards what Jewish life is, that it’s about love.” Maayan’s prize is a £100 art voucher to spend at Cass Art.

First prize, an iPad mini donated by acrylicize, went to Sophie Kelly, aged 10, from Michael Sobell Sinai School for her work The Torah is the tree of life. James Burke said: “I think that it showed a real intelligence, it had a nice conceptual angle to it and it was really well executed.”

Sophie explained: “I was doing my Hebrew reading for school and I came across that quote, ‘The Torah is the tree of life’, so I decided to draw a tree with things to do with the Torah. It took two weeks. I’m so happy I won!”

Mr Burke said: “I hope Sophie can use the iPad to access knowledge, broaden her horizons and be creative. You can be really creative on an iPad, just ask David Hockney.”

Ten runners up will also receive a £5 Cass Art vouchers.

Last updated: 12:29pm, February 28 2013