In these cruel and dark days, Ronit Regev serves us as a rare and dear gift of courage and hope.  This gift comes in the form of a courageous and strong, yet very intimate documentary that Ronit is presenting in her art exhibit.  She has titled the exhibit “The Process Takes Place”, a medical term referring to the struggle between life and death that takes place in the human body when cancer attacks.  Ronit has chosen the struggle for life, which she has painted and documented with no self-pity.

In her paintings a storm of emotions explodes, intense and conflicting.  This storm of emotions is expressed with the help of strong and broken lines which break into each other, causing a whirlpool which has no identifiable beginning and no clear end.  It is no coincidence that Ronit sees herself as “part of post-modernism”.

Another characteristic that is constant in Ronit’s paintings is her song praising life, a song that she sings no matter what others think, and certainly with no self-consciousness.

Together with all this, there is a clear statement in this exhibit regarding what is taking place and what she feels deep in her heart; deep in our heart. 

In works done during 2001, Ronit, who was previously sick and was in remission, painted the fear she faced of the possibility of the cancer coming back and destroying the beauty that surrounded her; the beauty of her life that is flooded with love, the warmth and the light within her home, the beauty of her own body, her sexuality, her femininity that she recovered when she overcame cancer the first time. 

The paintings from 2003 depict Ronit facing cancer again, with the same courage, the same determination and the same love. 

Two paintings depict the drip of the IV returning to her veins and bringing new life.  In these paintings the flowered hospital bed sheets have turned into “the cloth of life”, upon which her outstretched hand reaches for help and meets a blessed hand that represents professionalism and efficiency. 

Two paintings depict Ronit’s suffering and struggle with pain that the cancer produces daily, hourly and every minute in a constant, familiar way.  Along with this, loss of hair, damage to her breasts and shaking her identity as a woman are insufferable side-affects.  But, as in the past, and in daily life, Ronit faces it uncompromisingly when she looks head-on in the mirror with hope of  a new dawn.

The pain, the fear and the hope find expression in the painting titled “STOP – RADIATION”.  This painting depicts the serious threat accompanying the disease; however, this threat is broken down as the hospital bed sheet refers to the medical treatment that succeeded in the past and which continues now; the serious threat breaks down once again, as in the center of this picture Ronit has painted water flowing as life itself, a tree symbolizing continuity and the sun and light symbolizing love and hope.

Why can’t those people who rule our lives here and now, in this region of turmoil, come to learn from you about the price of life, about strength and generosity, about the power of hope and love? 

Written by:     Dr. Sylvia Fogel-Bijaoui

           Beit Berl College

                    The College for Management Studies 

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