Anat Oren was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. As a small child in school, her talent for art became a talking point and she became known as the school artist. A new teacher who arrived at the school wasn’t aware of this, and upon seeing Anat’s art for the first time, grabbed the drawing, ran to the teacher’s room excitedly showing the drawing to the other teachers. They had a good laugh as they were all well aware of Anat’s natural talent.
Besides her art, she also loved to perform on stage, doing imitations, playing the comedienne and singing. After leaving the army she did live shows (Fabulous Fables) all over Israel. This was part of an educational programme delivered in an entertaining way, accepted by the Israeli Education Dept and run throughout Israel in schools. The programme was called ‘Art for People’ (basket culture) – with a group of different artists making up the group. Anat’s show consisted of painting, drawing, and acting while telling the stories.
Anat’s father was Arik Amir, a well-known wrought-iron sculptor in Israel, who bought a house in the artist colony of Safad where she and her father exhibited their art in their private gallery (Anat from age 13). She became a full member of the Art Association of Israel and the artist colony of Safad and her work formed part of the permanent exhibition in Safad.
In 1988 Anat moved to South Africa and settled in Cape Town. Her show ‘Fabulous Fables' was aired on South African television on both SABC2 and eTV. Anat combined acting and illustration to tell a story to children. These stories were based on fables from various writers: Ivan Krylov, Chamisso, La Fontaine, Timofiev, Aesop, Aliezer, Steinberg, Clara Asher-Finchof and more, and always had a moral to teach the children something.
Currently, Anat is concentrating on her ink drawings and decorated handmade pottery and whatever else takes her fancy. She also does work in oils. Besides the art, she is also an excellent DIY person, being skilled at building, fixing, tiling and paving (but not as a business)!
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist