‘From there to here’: A neat phrase often used by émigrés to encapsulate the untidy, even distressing business of moving home from one country to another.
So pity, then praise the poor artist, who employs his talent to create something of beauty on the empty canvas of a new life while engaging in the practicalities of finding somewhere to live, work and play.
Thus it must have been with the fifteen exhibitors at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Go North Olim Art Exhibition, whose work has travelled from throughout Northern Israel to Karmiel to meet at the ORT Braude College of Engineering's elegant Lady Roslyn Lyons Gallery.
Curator, Shlomi Schwarzberg, pictured with Professor Arie Maharshak, college president, has ensured that the artists, originally from North America and the U.K., represent a wide range of disciplines, spanning the worlds of painting, embroidery, photography, mixed-media and jewellery.
When viewing a wide-ranging show it’s invidious to single out particular works. But some items on display simply beg for attention.
First, there is Tzfat-based Jodi Sugar’s highly symbolic photograph, God’s Soldiers which recalls a day, when scooting through Haifa in the car, I glimpsed a secular girl and her Haredi friend chatting amiably on the street.
Next, I must own to a warm acquaintance with Marsha Kolman, who spent many years in Florida as the Director of the Women's Division at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation before making aliya (emigrating to Israel) in 2010.
Her contributions include a bold, demanding take on a detail of Gustav Klimt’s Hygeia. Unlike Marsha, the Austrian painter travelled little but the two have something else in common. Marsha’s second exhibit is a mosaic of a woman’s head. It is said that Klimt’s trips to Venice and Ravenna, famed for their mosaics, may have inspired his gold technique and Byzantine imagery.
Finally, a little vainglory! Someone snapped me at last weekend’s opening, studying photographer, Nigel Hodge’s clever portrait of a ballet company in rehearsal. I love this piece, not only because it’s so darned pretty; nor because it’s redolent of the work of the impressionist, Edgar Degas but because the one fully-dressed dancer is staring through a mirror – from here to there!
Like Degas, Hodge, who has brought his family to Nahariya from British Columbia, is no stranger to portraying dancers at work. His professional portfolio, in true Degas-tradition, includes many shots of the Canadian Pacific Ballet, both in rehearsal and on stage.
* The show’s opening night, attracted an audience of 100-plus and is expected to run until February.
* The gallery is named after Lady Roslyn Lyons, who as a professional singer was known as Roslyn Rosenbaum. Her husband was the British financier and philanthropist, Jack Lyons.