Alice Zilberberg is an award-winning photographer and visual artist, born in Estonia, raised in Israel, and now based in Toronto, Canada. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Photography program, she has exhibited in galleries across Canada, the US and Japan, and published internationally, most recently in PHOTO+ Magazine in Seoul, Korea.
Using Photoshop, Zilberberg composites her own photography, creating photo illustrations that bridge the platforms of photography and painting. Her work marries reality and fantasy, echoing elements of surrealism and baroque art. Her latest landscape series explores themes of identity, displacement and belonging by fusing images of the two places she’s called home.
This series of photographs is a reflection of my personal history, and was influenced by a trip I took in the summer of 2013. The landscapes are composited from the two countries that comprise my inherited, and experienced, identity: Israel and Canada. I had been waiting for the opportunity to fly back to Israel, to where I grew up, for twelve and a half years.
As a child, relocation was frequent. I moved to Israel from Estonia when I was 2 years old, living initially in a small Kibbutz and, later, in a Moshav with my older brother and my mother. I was generally a happy kid, I had lots of friends, I was studious, and my love for art was nurtured. This backdrop shifted, however, when we moved to Canada when I was 11. As a kid, I remember thinking that moving to North America would be a terrific experience, that I would change for the better and make something of myself in that “promised land”. The transition was trying for an adolescent.
Coming to Toronto, I had to adjust to the language, the city, and the people. Making friends was daunting for a foreign kid in elementary school, not finding my classmates, or the weather, as friendly as before. For a long time, I was extremely unhappy, and it took me about four years to really digest that I’d be staying in Canada for a while. It wasn't until we moved again, from mid-town to the suburbs at age 14, that I started feeling better about my situation. Things began to settle incrementally, and eventually the craving to go back wore off.
Visiting Israel at 24 was a very emotional, personal experience. When I landed, just the smell of the air felt overwhelmingly familiar, and hearing the language felt like home. I spent a month traveling the country, including the two small places where I was raised, capped by a few weeks staying in Tel Aviv. Social interactions made me realize this place I called home was not as familiar as I romanticized. I speak Hebrew fluently, yet people knew instantly that I didn't live in Israel anymore. My mannerisms were more Canadian than Israeli, and I was slow to grasp social cues. In Israel I was Canadian, and in Canada I was Israeli. Journeying back to Toronto, I realized both, and neither, are home to me.
This project is the processing of my story. The landscapes fuse Canada and Israel; the bottom half, the terrain, was photographed in the deserts of Israel, and the skies were taken in Canada. They are digitally manipulated to appear otherworldly, like a different planet, representing a place I am estranged from. In them I see a familiarity, a place that is so beautiful, that has recognizable features, but somewhere I feel alien.
Honours BFA, Photography, Ryerson, Toronto, ON.
"Goddess Almighty", Bezpala Brown Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"Who is Alice?", Bezpala Brown Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Select Group Exhibitions
"Instant Stints of Intervals", Casa Loma, Toronto, ON.
Scope Art Fair, New York City, NY.
Sustain, Eco Art and Design Exhibition, University Museum, Carbondale, IL.
ORT Toronto Art Auction, Telus Centre, Toronto, ON.
Arbomb Art Battle Holiday Art Bash, The Roundhouse, Toronto, ON.
Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, ON.
"I Think I am the Water", Mona Gallery, Charlotte, NC.
Group Show, Gallery Catalyst, Toronto, ON.
Group Show, Mona Gallery, Charlotte, NC.
"I sea Monster Frida Kahlo Show", Hashtag Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Glimmer, POV Charity Auction Event, Arta Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"Full Frame Show", I.M.A. Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Toronto International Art Fair, Convention Center, Toronto, ON.
"Fairytales in the City", Fleurbain, Montreal, QC.
"Put a Bird on it", Hashtag Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"I sea Monster (Group Show)", Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Nathan Philip Square, Toronto, ON.
"Beautiful Me", Bezpala Brown Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Thornlea SS Art Exhibition, Heintzman House, Thornhill, ON.
CONTACT Photography Festival: "Exposed", Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON.
PhotoForum Group Show,Galerie Les Territoires, Montreal, QC.
Snap Winners Exhibit, Akasha Art Projects, Toronto, ON.
"Intimate Gestures", Studio 407, Toronto, ON.
"Eco-Art Show", Gallery 1313, Toronto, ON.
Applied Arts Winners Exhibit, Artscape Wynchwood Barns, Toronto, ON.
Art Show, Studio 407, Toronto, ON.
CONTACT Photography Festival: Maximum Exposure, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON.
The Artist Project, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON.
Group Show, Susan Kristjansson Gallery, Sarnia, ON.
"Eunoia Project", Birdo Flugas, Tokyo, Japan.
TedX exhibition, Ted Talks at Ryerson, Toronto, ON.
"Splash!": White Wall Review at Jorgenson Hall, Toronto, ON.
"Maximum Exposure", Propeller Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"ArtCetera", Elora Center for the Arts, Elora, ON.
Group Show, Red Bull Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"The Human Subject", I.M.A. Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Vistek Art Show, Vistek Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"Grounded", WhipperSnapper Gallery, Toronto, ON.
"Maximum Exposure", Lennox Contemporary, Toronto, ON.
"Art for Chilled Hearts", WhipperSnapper Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Applied Arts Magazine Photography Award
Snap! Photography Competition: Winner of best portrait Image
Applied Arts Magazine Photography Illustration Award
The Artist Project, Untapped Emerging Artist
The Magenta Foundation, Flash Forward, Honorable mention
Sony World Photography competition, Cannes, represented Ryerson University
Silvershotz Magazine Volume 9, Edition 1
LandEscape Magazine, May 2014 Issue
Cesar’s Canvas Magazine
Elaine Fleck Gallery Fall Artist Catalogue
Borders Crossings Magazine Artist Feature
SESSIONS Magazine Issue 11
Function Magazine Vol. 13, Artist Feature
I sea Monster, Female Artists collective (permanent artist)
Canadian Art Junkie art review
Zeum Magazine, Issue #2
White Wall Review: Journal of Literary & Visual Arts, Issue #35
PhotoZOOM Magazine Vol. 3
artistaday.com, featured artist
Escape into Life, artist showcase
Eye Opener Newspaper, Maximum Exposure 2011 Artist Review
Flash Forward: Published by Magenta Foundation
Function Magazine Vol. 11
Portfolio Eleven (Ryerson Archive)
Function Magazine Vol. 10
McClung's Magazine cover, April 2009
Lectures and Events
Lecture at Toronto Camera Club, March, 2013.
Artist in Attendance Photoshop and Workflow presentation, Gallery Catalyst
Breakfast Television, The Artist Project section, March, 2011
Ryerson Deans Office permanent collection