- Talma Gotteiner
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens: Volunteer Group Art Exhibition
The exhibition "Garden Time" with the participation of Meir Hayoun, Judith Marcus, Roni Gat, Marna Schwartz Caroll, and Michal Bein, includes works by garden volunteers who have been coming to volunteer at the Botanical Garden several times a week, for years, engaging in activities related to nature and plants.
WHEN: Jan 18, 2022 - Feb 2, 2022
Nature lovers and Garden visitors know that in the Garden, every moment has a different view. One can never visit the same Garden twice; there is always movement and change in nature.
The works in the exhibition include bronze and wood sculptures, paintings described by poetry, a dollhouse, and photographs. All deal with our connection to nature and the enjoyment we get from the nature surrounding us.
Merav Shnap, the exhibition's curator, says: "This exhibition was born out of the need of the volunteers to convey their feelings and excitement of nature and their activity in the Garden to the public. In some of the works, the Garden can be seen directly; in others, it is in the material. In others, it is hidden in the creation process or even in a fantasy point of view. One can find the time movement in all the artworks. Whether in the carved wood, on the paper on which the photograph is printed, in little pieces of plastic toys, forgotten in the Garden, on a bronze sculpture, or a stamped copper piece. I invite the visitors to come to the exhibition and see the Garden from the point of view of those who give their time, energy, and heart to experience what garden time is for them."
Tom Amit, the Garden's CEO: "The volunteers of the Botanical Garden are an integral part of the Garden, many years now. The stem of the volunteer program is a group of people who come to the Garden once or twice a week. The program includes social activities, company, and a framework that allows them to get out of the house to freshen up and engage in what they love, within a small community that cares for them, especially during Covid-19."
Marna Schwartz Caroll
Marna has been volunteering at the botanical garden for three years, cultivating various plots. Her works are based on goldsmithing, with a special connection to Judaica objects. The beautiful and intriguing body of work she presents in the exhibition consists of 15 copper pieces hammered in the chasing and repousse method, just before they become fancy etrog box decorations. Nature appears in all of her works, and reflects moments of contemplation and inspiration.
Roni came to the garden 11 years ago, and she collects seeds in the garden. Seed collection is an important work, which allows the garden to exist as a self-sustaining system, and to be in seed exchange relationships with dozens of botanical gardens around the world. In the exhibition, Roni presents a miniature house made entirely of recycled materials, alongside materials from nature in the garden. It all started with wandering around the garden, during which she discovered and collected fragments of plastic games. For a year and a half, Roni collected more and more materials, until the question of what to do with it arose. Thus, the house was born. Into this miniature house you can peek from the window, door or balcony, and discover branches, eucalyptus fruits, abandoned Lego parts, plastic waste and other materials, which instead of being sent to the garbage have been given a new and fantastic life.
Michal has been volunteering at the botanical garden for over 15 years, and her area of activity is documenting the blossoming of the garden. She has been documenting the blooms on a weekly basis for years. In the exhibition, Michal presents things that cannot be documented, but represent to her the connection with it. The garden reminds Michal of the grove near her home, where a population of the Israeli deer lives. The deer statue, made by her, stands at the entrance to the exhibition and welcomes visitors. Many of Michal's sculptures are made of bronze and many of them are figures of animals from reality or fantasy or a combination of the two, and she sculpts them all from the imagination, without an image or a living object. Michal's works create a world intertwined with a thread of imagination and reality, which allows the deer, winged animals and a dragon to exist in harmony.
Judith has been volunteering in the garden for over 40 years, during which time she has been involved in a variety of fields. What has always been there for her is photography, or "documentation," as she defines it. Judith's love for the garden and her deep connection to it combined with her longing to document the changes that have taken place in it over the years has generated thousands of spectacular photographs, which cover several exhibitions. This exhibition presents a series of eight photographs, which are not only spectacular in beauty, but also reveal the sensitivity, curiosity and wonder of the person who presses the camera button. In her works, Judith documented eight moments on the edge of time, of before opening or after closing, moments before flowering or of a ray of sunshine after a storm.
Meir came to the botanical garten about 17 years ago and volunteers on the geophyte terrace. He began his artistic path via painting, then went on to other fields, including sculpture. The main material that Meir works with is wood. In all his works one can discern his exploratory gaze, which beautifully illuminates unique moments through sculpture, poetry, drawings and video work, inviting the viewer to put on headphones and dive intimately into the deep waters of the garden. In the body of the woodwork you can see roots, bark and trunks, treated with a loving hand, recognizing the beauty inherent in them by their very being.
The entrance to the exhibition is included in the entry ticket that you can purchase on the Jerusalem Botanical Garden's website.
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