The first twenty years of her life were spent in China. She was born there to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Russia. She was educated in English at the Jewish School in Tientsin during the Japanese occupation of China and throughout World War II. Her entire life has been an exposure to a conglomerate of cultures – Chinese, Russian, English, Jewish, Japanese which fits the mold of NYC Artists. Her art is influenced by these cultures.
A year after the State of Israel was established, Varda settled there with her twin sister. Twenty-seven years later, her husband’s career took them and their two daughters to London and eventually to the US, where they currently live and work as Brooklyn Sculpture Artists.
Her work experiences were varied. She taught English in the elementary grades at the Tientsin Jewish School and Hebrew in a new immigrants’ camp in Israel. She was on the staff of the English newspaper Jerusalem Post. She spent two years in the Israeli Air Force. She did social work both in an official capacity and as a volunteer. She was a graphic artist at one of the top commercial art studios in Israel, and then freelanced in commercial art. She was an intern in art therapy in the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Long Island. She raised two daughters. She translated her husband’s memoirs of his WWII experiences from Polish into English, and his book The Defiant was published.
Varda started drawing in childhood. As a new immigrant in Israel, she studied at the Bezallel School of Art for a while. She later attended some adult education courses in Israel, London and the US. In New York she studied at the Art Students League and took seminars in Art Therapy at the New School for Social Research.
Brooklyn Sculpture Artists
In 1979 Yoran turned to sculpture. She studied with Aline Geist on Long Island. She gradually moved from painting to sculpture. She works in stone, wood, clay, wax and Lucite. She likes to explore different media and techniques. She sees art as a communication between viewer and artist and tries to project her thoughts and feelings in a way that is understandable. She feels that her sculptures speak for her.
Varda has participated in numerous group shows, and had solo exhibits in the US and in Israel. She was presented the 1996 Eleanor Roosevelt Award by the American Jewish Congress Commission for Women’s Equality. She was interviewed twice by Shirley Romaine on TV’s “Artschene on Long Island”, and by Florence Rapoport on “Focus on Women”. She was awarded Honorary Fellowship by Tel-Aviv University.
Varda’s long-standing relationship with Tel-Aviv University is evident. Her sculpture, Tai Chi, based on memories from her background, an 11-foot piece of granite, is on the campus of the University. She created “The Continuous Connection”, a sculpture which is presented exclusively to members of the President’s Council of the University. “Holocaust and Revival”, a six-foot tall bronze, in tribute to the survivors, was inaugurated in May, 2004.
Varda’s husband was born in Poland and lived through the Holocaust. So anything to do with the Holocaust is very close to the entire family. “Agony”, a 5-foot long bronze figure lying on a pile of railroad ties, is on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Ghetto Fighters in Israel. Having the sculpture in that particular museum is especially meaningful and significant to her.
An abstract interpretation of “Family”, commissioned for the benefit of Rabin Medical Center in
Israel, stands permanently outdoors on the hospital grounds.
“Valor in Flight”, made of strips of aluminum, represents the motion of aircraft taking off for combat, for rescue missions, for venturing into outer space, and for daring military operations. It stands on permanent exhibit at the Israel Air Force Center in Israel.