Gilah Yelin Hirsch

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About the Artist

Gilah Yelin Hirsch, MFA, Professor of Art Emerita California State University Dominguez Hills Los Angeles. Her multidisciplinary work has been exhibited and published internationally since 1968 including LA County Museum of Art and Whitney Museum, NY. Numerous grants and awards include US National Endowment for the Arts; Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy; International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine for “innovative blending of science and art revealing existing relationships between forms in nature, forms in human physiology and the forms that are present in all alphabets”. Hirsch was a founder of the first feminist art organization, LA Council of Women Artists 1972, and a pioneer in psychoneuroimmunology.

The Wedding of Mysticism and Science: From Aleph to DNA – or DNA to Aleph?, 1976-2021.

Statement About Work

During many lengthy solitary sojourns over 30 years in wilderness worldwide, I isolated five forms in nature and found them to be intrinsic to all alphabets ancient to modern. I postulated that these five forms were chosen universally because they reflect the shapes of neurons and neural processes intrinsic to perception and cognition. Extensive research revealed that the earliest alphabet, variously called Ancient Hebrew, Ancient Phoenician, Ancient Semitic, etc is 15,000 years old. My theory on the origin of alphabet, that I call Cosmography: The Writing of the Universe, has been accepted into science and raises the question, do we see because of what we think, or do we think because of what we see? I have developed additional nesting and interrelated hypotheses in diverse disciplines based on this fundamental idea.

I have lived in many cultures and countries from Africa to the North Pole and “read” the same forms in the same way in every landscape. I have realized that while cultures and languages bring unique beauty and richness to the world, we, as humankind, are more alike than we are different.

A selection of my paintings using Hebrew letters as compositional structure as well as Kabbalistic content, along with my documentary photographs of letterforms in nature, present a visual history of the discovery process of the Hebrew alphabet in nature and how it correlates with various scientific, ecological, psychiatric, and psychophysiological ideas and practices.