Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Israeli Paper Art from Zichron Ya'akov

Going to the village of Zichron Ya'akov (which means 'Remembering Jacob') I had no idea that art was so prevalent there. Stumbling upon the Tut-Neyar Paper mill as I meandered along the side streets of this quaint and historically rich place was just an extra bonus to my day.While I had a meaningful and kin-esthetic experience at the Aaronsohn Houses (a.k.a the Nili Museum) that are up the street from the mill, it was a refreshing turn of events to see the beauty that thrives in this community after all that sacrifice. It was good to go from the deep dark history of why this village is so important to seeing examples of how it is alive and flourishing today.

Here is a picture of the workshop opposite the mills store and gallery (boy, what would I give for one of those!):

You can see where all the inspiration comes from, with that incredibly blue Israeli sky, the plants and trees. Walking up to the place I went by some lemon trees that smelled soooo good. Every moment was pleasing to the senses during my visit here!

I happen to LOVE paper. One of my most favorite parts of printmaking in the studio is when I get to handle the different types of paper we use to print on. It helps you realize how art making starts on the surface, not with the image on top. And the paper I saw at this mill didn't even need anything on it to be artwork, or beautiful for that matter! Here are some tidbits of what I saw.

Below is a close up (horizontal view) of that last panel on the right. I thought that this work had such a dialogue with the land and history of this place, and of Israel as a whole! The artists, Timna and Izhar Neumann as well as others, have taken the agricultural landscape and incorporated it into the composition of their work; something that was not lost on me as a viewer, especially after my experience at the Nili Museum (where I learned about the wild wheat found in Israel that helped start agricultural developments in the 1800s):

Please take some time to visit the mills site (linked above)! There is so much more interesting info. about how they make the paper and the history of the artists who make it! I briefly met Timna Neumann in the store, and she was both kind and friendly.

Personally, I think that approachability gives you all the more reason to go and see an artists work... and buy it *wink* (one of my English traveling companions fell in love with some of the hand-sized cards they make here and had to have one). I also found out from Timna that she went to Parsons University here in the NY! It was an added surprise to bring a smile to my day.

So, if your ever in Israel, visit Zichron Ya'akov!! It's worth the trip. And don't forget to get ice cream afterwards! Without it your day wouldn't be complete.


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