Vik JF is a British - Israeli multidisciplinary artist with a bachelor's and master's degree in Fine arts from the University of Haifa. She was born and raised in Jerusalem in the 1980s and 1990s (the intifada years). Since 2000 she has lived between Haifa and London. She currently lives and works in Brighton, England.
In many of her works, JF uses repeated images and patterns to create large-scale wallpaper art installations. She is particularly interested in geometric patterns (arabesques) originating in Muslim buildings in Jerusalem and mass-produced popular wallpaper patterns such as those of the designer William Morris. She is inspired by the ‘Toile’ patterns from the French village houses and mosaics from ruins in Israel and antique ceramics. Using elements of duplication she examines the relationship between image and background, individual versus society, as well as examining the value of the source and the relationship between source and copy.
These patterns, which at first glance give the illusion of order and calm, serve as camouflage for the chaos taking place below the surface. Photographs of ambivalent moments in the Old City of Jerusalem, drawings of prisoners, gas masks, barbed wire and semi-apocalyptic images are disguised using models and ornamentation. Prisoners of war with sacks on their heads or the Palestinian protesters from the intifada are integrated or disguised within a Victorian flower net and images from the plant and animal world.
Throughout her career, JF has imbued her works with a sense of detachment, reflecting her search for a permanent home alongside her conflicting attraction to nomadic life. Searching for the broad meaning of ‘home’ is a long-term theme in her work. JF’s work ranges from small drawings to large installations that also incorporate video. Her works blend between the personal and the political, and the private and the collective. One can identify in them a fusion of English and Middle Eastern influences.
This combination of historical and contemporary content is also reflected in JF’s working techniques. Alongside classic disciplines like painting, sketching and engraving style drawings, she uses craft and interior design techniques and incorporates ready-made objects such as English teacups, crystal glassware and Israeli spiky live cacti. Using two popular symbols from two very different cultures, JF reflects on her own identity.
In recent years, JF has explored the socialist ideals of William Morris and members of the Arts & Crafts movement. Their goals - to preserve traditions and stand against the poor level of industrial design in the Victorian era. Their desire to protect the status and rights of the designer and worker and to maintain high standards of quality and form echoes strongly in her recent works, which have been inspired by her family stories about post-war London. Family memories of crumbling walls and remnants and crumpled postcards of English wallpaper by William Morris have been incorporated into works, alongside delicate drawings of flowers with spontaneous doodles on them and wallpaper created in ‘Floriography’ (the language of flowers) communicating to the viewer through the use and arrangement specific flowers.
JF’s most recent works explore themes of Race, Gender and Identity through hyperrealist drawing. Throughout her career, JF’s work has continuously evolved but remains committed to expressing key ongoing ideas. All her works, each in their own way, explore the moment when the whole and the fragment meet.