Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955, Jill Berelowitz developed her passion for art at a very young age and studied from the age of 12 under renowned Finnish artist Karen Jarozynska. After graduating from Johannesburg School of Art, she set up her own studio in Durban and worked and taught there until moving to London in 1985, where she still has a teaching and working studio.
In London, Berelowitz has established herself as one of the City’s most innovative and prominent sculptors. Amongst her extensive portfolio of high-profile works are “Core Femme” installed outside Charing Cross Hospital, “Pair Oar” at Henley-on-Thames, The Investec Challenge rugby trophy at Twickenham. Other works are installed at Goldsmith’s Guild, Unilever and Old Mutual.
She has been exhibited extensively at high profile galleries and exhibitions including Sotheby’s and Christie’s, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court, Heathrow Terminal 5 and on Cork Street for Rado and Elizabeth Arden. Other projects include Westminster Council’s ‘City of Sculpture’ programme for the entrance to the London 2012 Olympic Village.
A major piece "Moving Forward" was installed in 2017 on Park Lane in Mayfair, London opposite the Dorchester Hotel. This gathering of nine is a visual representation of the archetype of gestation and rebirth. It invokes inherent pathways within each of us and reminds us of the global momentum as we all participate in birthing a new humanity.
One of her most iconic and ambitious sculptures, the Mind’s Eye Tree was unveiled at Shakespeare’s New Place at Stratford-upon-Avon in late Summer 2016 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Towering at a height of 5.5 metres and weighing approximately 3 tonnes, this bold sculpture is an indomitable presence in the gardens where Shakespeare’s family home once stood. It was shortlisted for the PMSA Award.
Her recent solo exhibition at 45 Park Lane Mayfair, “Osmosis” in 2018/9, demonstrated the artist's personal movement across geographies. This examination of the transience of life is at once personal to the artist and speaks to universal human experience.
Jill makes ambitious large scale works that articulate her personal experiences, infused with a positive and often spiritual feel. Many of the works are deeply personal, incorporating symbols of a talismanic importance to the artist; an elephant, the tree of life, circles and spherical forms, a feather, a dachshund. Other works evoke the human figure formed with qualities of elegance and lyrical movement, often elongated and abstracted in the manner of the traditional tribal sculpture of her homeland.
The female figure is of particular importance; a recurring motif that is celebrated in the exhibition during the Year of the Woman and emblematic of the interest in beauty that preoccupies Jill. Her figurative forms are at once specific and universal - at times they signify human movement and transition, at others they become figures from classical myth, becoming the personification of natural forms, from tiny seed pods, to the mother of dawn in 'Aurora’. Another significant recurring image in Jill's work is that of the tree as a form that embodies life, the rhythms of nature and the markings of time.
Although much of her work is cast in bronze, Jill often uses other materials including carbon fibre and crystal resin to explore her ideas. The resin in particular allows the artist to explore her use of light, the colourful, transparent material allowing natural light to flood through and refract. This sublime phenomenon symbolises the luminosity that is embodied by all of Jill's work. Light and life pulsate throughout, offering hope and positive energy. Across place and time, this joyful work celebrates womanhood and nature with lyricism, elegance and light. A collection of ideas, memories and experience, synthesised into a body of work exploring femininity, light and the natural world.