The ‘Deep Sea Dreaming’ Ketubah

This Ketubah entitled “Deep Sea Dreaming” awakens an underwater coral reef to express the boundless and bountiful beauty that blossoms beneath the surface of the sea.

As an ode to the ocean, this Ketubah heralds the vitality and life of water, where streaming light and oceanic textures, hues and life forms overlay the Ketubah in a veiled sprawling sea.

Two blue whales, symbolic of the bride and grooms shared passage through life, serenely float beneath the waters surface; majestically and magnificently flowing.

Soothed by their presence amoungst eachother, the warmth of the light that dapples and glimmers on them foreshadows the light, happiness and illumination of their married life.

At the bottom of the Ketubah is an elaborately constructed Coral Reef with seaweed, coral, shells, seahorses and many schools of fish of varying species.

The coral reef suggests that beneath everything there are worlds of wonder and richness.

As they journey into marriage, flowing and floating serenely like the whales, so to the couple will dive deeper and witness more of the magic that manifests in quieter and more meditative places.

The essentialism of all things water as being the intrinsic element of this Ketubah is echoed through the watercolour painted coral reef, fish, seahorses, shells and whales. This is overlaid upon an oil on canvas background, which yields a glowing luminosity to visualize the light streaming through the water and dappling on the coral reef.

Water is particularly significant to the scene and setting of this love story; here indicating as Sydney being a city expanding along the coast and embracing a majestic harbour, the Chuppah and Reception both being beside the waters of Middle Harbour, whilst the brides family is from Cape Town – another city surrounded by water at the tip of Southern Africa.

The initials are rendered in a metallic silver outline framing a watercolour and sunlight dappled pair of hebrew characters.

Matching ‘Birkat Habayit – Blessing for the Home’ photographed alongside the Ketubah, reflecting the extension of the Ketubah design into other Judaica artwork.

In painting this Ketubah for a close friend, my wish is that their married life is as unbounded as the ocean and iterates like waves rippling through the passage of life. Pictured Rabbi Friedman, the groom, bride and myself.

Photographs from wedding ceremony courtesy of Tristian Cardew, The Bow Photography (