Bella Hvatskin – painter, writer, decorator and costume designer, teaching, painting, living and working in the "Painting from the Belly" studio on Kibbutz Lehavot HaBashan.

Born in Moscow, immigrated to Israel in 1997. Married and mother of three children.

I live in a constant search.

Ten years ago, I started working with a technique that incorporates body embedding on canvas. The idea of imprinting myself, painting with my body, was created out of a desire to rebel with the classical painting technique. A desire to eliminate the work of my skilled hand holding the paintbrush, to delete years of rigid, uncompromising Russian techniqal learning.

I love the imprinting technique because it has a great ability to catch movement on canvas. However, as time passed, I started broadening my imprinting techniques by imprinting of wet paint and producing a 'negative' image on canvas. At that time, my mind was occupied by my children's happiness; the little child, arriving so naive to the world, and the gap between my childhood and the childhood of my own children, growing up on a kibbutz.

In 2014 after my third child was born, my art focused on the woman's body, from the cruel point of view of her own eyes, looking thorough lenses of criticism and self-hatred. As part of my research on obesity, I issued a series of body shots, bursting out of them into a series of blatant and rebellious works.

Since 2016 I have been writing the "Blah Blah Blog", creating reality with words and color. It's a short story blog, telling humorous autobiographical stories, memories of the Soviet Union or documents of my life in Israel as an immigrant, as a mother whose children pronounce her name with a heavy Israeli accent. Each story is accompanied by an illustration. The illustrations are done on aged pages, taken from an old children book written by Gianni Rodari, which I received as a gift for my eighth birthday. At that time I was still tying a red pioneer tie, knowing the "place" I belonged to. Rodari was an Italian communist author of children’s books, whose works glorified communism, and were part of the brainwashing that every child in Soviet Russia underwent. On the torn pages from Rodari’s book I paint my new life and my old memories. There on the torn, delicate and fragile page, is the connection between past and present, a mixture of words and color.

In recent years, "place" has become the main theme of my art. As an immigrant, for years I have been searching for my place (some physical space), home or land to which I belong. I hoped that after 22 years in Israel, I would feel less detached, more attached, but reality proves otherwise, I am still an immigrant seeking her identity, and the place I belong to exists only in my paintings.

In the past year I've been working on a series of paintings called 'Place'. I build my new art on the foundations of my past, leaving behind the rigid Russian education, abandoning the years of painting studies in Soviet Moscow. Today I do not want to think about what is allowed and what is not allowed in the old art world. I mix the paint bravely, tearing and cutting paper illustrations of classic paintings to re-paste the pieces. Humor has a pivotal role in my art, I laugh at the absurd laws of society and about the self-importance humans have, and especially about myself.

Bella Hvatskin,


Name: Bella Hvatskin

D.O.B: 26/02/1978

Address: Israel, Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, 12125

P.O. Box 268

Mobile: 050 -2606036

Site: bellahvatskin.com

Email: bellahvatskin@gmail.com

Artist, Owner and teacher of a successful drawing studio “gut-Drawing” in Lehavot Habashan..

Award – winning Set and costume designer

Living and creating art at kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, in the Upper Galilee.

Married, with 3 children.


2020: Reshon Lazion city dallery."The Russian Compound". Reshion Lazion Solo Exhibition ( start 1/02/20)

2020: Pop Up museum TLV

2019: Habarbur gallery "The place". Jerusalem. Group Exhibition

2019: Mahanaim gallery."Inside out". Kibuts Mahanaim Solo exhibition.

2019: Pastoral gallery. "Made in heaven" Kfar Blum. Solo exhibition.

2019: Bashan Gallery. "One of you" Kibuts Lehavot Habashan. Solo exhibition.

2018: Art Galil 3 Kfar Gilady Solo exhibition

2017: Art Galil 2 Kfar Gilady Curator

2016: Art Galil 1 Kfar Gilady Solo exhibition

2015: Festival "Between the vineyards" Kibuts Ortal. Solo exhibition

2014: Tel Hai Gallery: “Galilee Winds”.Tel Hai. Curator

2013: Lake Ra’anana Gallery. “Winter Salon” Raanana. Group Exhibition

2012: The Advocate Towers Gallery, Tel Aviv. Group Exhibition

2010: The Jaffa Knight Tower Gallery. “Light”. Old City Jaffa Group Exhibition

2009: The Mirror Theater. “Body, Form and Color”. Kiriat Shmona Solo exhibition

2008: Museum Hutzot Jaffa.  Group exhibition. Old City Jaffa

Theater Set and costume design:

2000-2019 Set and costume designer for more than forty theater shows

Theater awards:

2002 First award for set design for the play "breaking a butterfly". Haifa Festival children's shows. By Yael Navy . Director Gal Gutman
2016 "Golden Porcupine" award for design for the play "To life"  by Gili Ivri,
director Gili Ivri
2017 "Golden Porcupine" award for set design for the play "Bull" by Mike Bartlett, director Orly Rabanyan

Education and Training:

1997 – 2000: Haifa University.

Course in Art creation

Course in Theater stage design

1995 – 1996: Moscow University

Course in psychology

1984 – 1995: High school education (Moscow), Full Diploma

1991 – 1993: "1905" Moscow Art College.

1983 – 1990:   Private painting and drawing lessons with leading teachers

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