Recently, I met Heli Gilad, an amazing woman, who in addition to her involvement in promoting contacts between women, has been chosen to be the curator of a very special exhibition. This is an exhibition of works by artists from various cultures who over the period of one week spent in a forest in Israel, joined together, learning, creating and experiencing.

Curator Heli Gilad invited me to witness this fascinating process.

The photos I have included, to a certain extent capture this experience, but of course can only really be appreciated by a visit to the site.

It began like a fairy tale deep in the Kibbutzim forest — near kibbutz Ein Hashofet in the region of Megiddo  — when a group of artists, Israeli Jews and Arabs, and from Belgium, England and Germany, met together to create an exhibition called “creations in space”.

This is a unique artistic experience, now in its third year, when artists from various cultures meet to create sculptures using only materials found in this forest and which are integrated into the surroundings.

This unique project provides an opportunity for artists to create works in their natural environment differing from the usual process whereby materials are brought to his/her studio. The sculptures created in this exhibition remain in the forest until they disintegrate naturally.

This exhibition is an expression of the natural environment relating to the space in which it is created. The process has three stages:

  1. Construction of the sculpture.
  2. Placing the work in the area in which it is constructed.
  3. Stage of change and disintegration by forces of nature.

An additional aspect of this year’s meeting is the workshops where the artists discuss their contribution to the community. The English artist Spencer Byles, who now lives and creates in Borneo, Malaysia, was invited to guide these discussions and to help in the construction of the sculptures being created in this forest. Byles has constructed sculptures in many countries, using the materials available in the natural environment ensuring that they are congenial with the space in which they are created.

This year, the participating artists came from various levels of experience in Israel and overseas. The overseas guests brought rich experience in environmental culture, including ecological art.

School children and adults from surrounding communities were invited to participate in the project during the course of the week.

This year each group held two preliminary workshops before they began their work:

  1. A workshop run by Spencer Byles with instruction on the techniques he uses in his work.
  2. An intensive week in the forest, working and eating together, helping each other. The discussed aspects of their work and related their personal stories individually and together around a camp fire

Each of the participants chose the area to work and helped each other to find materials for their sculptures.

The participants also created a joint sculpture under the guidance of Spencer Byles.

The week was full of intensity and emotion in the natural environment, and fascinating discussions were held, and getting to know persons from other cultures.

The weeklong event terminated in a gathering of families and a festive opening in the presence of over a thousand visitors.

List of participating artists:

The event was sponsored by a number of institutions, such as Givat Haviva from their experience with Jews and Arabs learning together, communities in the Megiddo and Maaleh Iron regional councils, the embassy of the United States, the Megiddo biosphere area, the Jewish National Fund, Mifal Hapayis and the Ministry of Culture and Sport.

Login to the website Connections You can see who are the wonderful people, team connections.

Facebook page of the event.

Videos about the process can be seen here and here. And it’s worth it here too.

 

 

And a few more pictures before we part: