These 3 works add to the Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum, which was acquired in 2009 and 2010.

The Art Fund has given the two museums grants over £150,000 for the collection and additional support for the tour of the collection. These lush photographs by the Israeli photographer Shochat depict fruit trees heavy with ripening fruit. They are the result of a meticulous process in which the artist first identifies the most perfect specimen of a particular type of tree. She then waits until the tree is at the height of its maturity. Next, she cleans the dust off the branches, trees and fruit. Finally she photographs the tree, isolated against a black cloth background. These studies of trees are in fact a form of staged portraiture. Offering a view of nature that would never actually exist in nature, they raise questions about the truthfulness of photography. Persimmons and pomegranates are cultivated in large numbers in Israel. The pomegranate is grown throughout the Middle East and is associated with fertility in many cultures. References to the pomegranate occur in ancient Greek mythology, the Bible and in the QuÂ’ran, among other sources. More poignantly in this context, the word ‘grenadeÂ’ is derived from the word ‘pomegranateÂ’.


The artist.

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