“Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things.” – Dao De Jing
An Israeli-Dutch Artist, Papermaker, and Taijiquan/Qigong Teacher
Aliza Thomas is a multifaceted artist who dons the hat of an artist, papermaker, and teacher of Taijiquan and Qigong. Her origins can be traced back to the vibrant and culturally rich nation of Israel, a place that holds a special place in her heart. However, as is the case with many individuals hailing from Israel, her wanderlust and the pull of familial ties have led her to reside in the picturesque country of the Netherlands. The varied cultural influences and experiences garnered from her time spent in both these nations have had a profound impact on her work and continue to shape it in unique and interesting ways.
The Inspiration Behind Aliza Thomas’ Artistic Pursuits
The work created by Aliza Thomas is a reflection of the diverse experiences and influences that have shaped her throughout her life. Though she has spent time in various locations and cultures, her work does not specifically draw from any one particular country or culture. Instead, it is the culmination of the various perspectives and influences she has absorbed throughout her life, as well as her innate sense of self. A significant influence on her work has been the wisdom imparted to her by a wise man she met in her childhood, who many have referred to as a children’s shaman. Her work is also deeply informed by her appreciation for the beauty and depth of the world, as well as her study of ancient Chinese philosophers such as Lao Tzu. Additionally, her practice of Taijiquan, Qigong, and her early education in these disciplines have allowed her to form a connection with ancient Chinese philosophy that also informs her work.
The wellspring of her inspiration is derived from a plethora of sources, including but not limited to, the simple act of traversing on foot, the mere existence of being, the practice of meditation, and the imparting of knowledge through teaching. Furthermore, she finds that poetry often serves as a more profound and evocative source of inspiration than books.
Embracing Creativity and Innovation
Aliza Thomas has a preferred quote that serves as a source of inspiration and motivation in her artistic pursuits. The quote is attributed to the renowned artist, Pablo Picasso, and states, “Others have seen what is and asked why, I have seen what could be and said why not.” This quote resonates with her as it encapsulates the spirit of creativity and innovation that she strives to embody in her art. It serves as a reminder for her to not be limited by the status quo, but to constantly push the boundaries of what is possible and to embrace the potential of new ideas. This quote serves as a constant reminder for her to not be afraid of taking risks, and to always look for new ways to express herself and to push the boundaries of her artistic abilities.
As Aliza Thomas has progressed through her personal and artistic journey, she has attempted to shift and evolve her style. However, the process of self-reflection and introspection has led her to understand that true growth and change comes not from a deliberate altering of one’s style, but rather an understanding and acceptance of oneself. The words of the Dao De Jing, ‘Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things,’ serve as a poignant reminder of this realization.
Using Art for Personal Development and the Greater Good of Humanity
Aliza Thomas does not have specific, individualized aspirations for her art. Her ultimate goal is to contribute to the greater good of humanity, striving for a world characterized by peace and prosperity for all. The current state of conflict and destruction that plagues our society deeply troubles her. In her artistic endeavors, she strives to create works that bring light, positivity, and joy to those who encounter them, much like a magpie is drawn to shiny objects. Aliza views her artistic practice as a form of personal development, akin to physical exercise, with the ultimate aim of leaving the world a brighter and more beautiful place.
Art plays a vital role in Aliza’s life, serving as a conduit for accessing her subconscious and heightening her awareness and sensitivity. Through her engagement with art, she is able to tap into a realm of creativity that extends far beyond the canvas or the sculpting block. This creative energy has been invaluable in assisting her to navigate and find solutions to various challenges, whether it be within the context of working with incarcerated individuals or in psychiatric hospitals, or even in schools for children with behavioral issues. Art has the power to inspire and provoke new ways of thinking, providing an invaluable tool for personal growth and development. That is why Aliza has chosen to pursue the study of art as a lifelong endeavor.