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Muse – Comes From the Heart

Carmela Zack: The Fiber Inside Me

Translated from the Hebrew by Norman Silbert

An art exhibition at Mediterranean Towers, Kfar Saba

Open till the end of July

 The word "muse" originates in Greek mythology (Mousa) where we first meet the nine muses – the goddesses of creativity, arts, sciences, music, dance, history, poetry, drama and astronomy.

Apollo, the god of light, beauty and the arts, was guardian of the nine muses and together they delighted the gods of Mount Olympus with music, song and dance, providing creative inspiration to poets, musicians and philosophers.

What we know today as a sanctuary housing works of art and cultural treasures, the museum, was originally, as the name implies, a temple to the muses.

The word muse now also serves to connote 'inspiration,' particularly in the sense of imagination, and is often used as a synonym for the notion of 'creative inspiration'.

The Butterflies Exhibition — as part of an embroidery class at the Kfar Saba Meditawers Towers

The residents of Mediterranean Towers in Kfar Saba form a community of keen and active advocates of culture. Manager Ofra Ari'el says: "Our appreciation of creativity, culture, art and our capacity to reach out, together with our desire to reinvent the building's entrance level - our welcoming face - galvanized our members' creativity. The area selected for the project will serve as an apt venue to exhibit the work of the community, and also as a source of pride for visitors and passers-by. Alongside temporary exhibitions created by workshops held on the premises, Muse will offer solo exhibitions, displays and a lounge area."

There's No Place Like Home (Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz)

Ayala Raz, resident of Mediterranean Towers in Kfar Saba and curator of the exhibition, explains:

Every good exhibition needs a concept. This principle has always guided me when I curate an exhibition. Muse – Comes From the Heart was a particularly complex mission for several reasons.

  • 1. The exhibition is principally for the residents and their families and, to a lesser extent, for the general public.
  • 2. The exhibition comprises mainly work of the residents, with the exception of a few employees and a guest from Bayit Beganei Tikva.
  • 3.The location of the exhibition - in the lower corridor linking the central building with the adjacent residential area which was originally designed to be only functional - lacks any design features.

When manager Ofra Ari'el and entertainment administrator Zippi Darel asked me to curate the exhibition there, all I saw was a long winding corridor which, at the time, I considered a labyrinth. Despite the ambitious challenge I agreed willingly! First, I had to familiarize myself with the surroundings. I made several forays and, each time, became disoriented. Then I realized that the exhibition had to clearly guide visitors along the corridor, while at the same time focusing their attention on the exhibits and inviting them to stop and ponder.

Contemplation comes naturally when there is something to contemplate and, here, this is prompted by aesthetically presented, clearly visible texts on the walls.

The concept for the exhibition was inspired by Frank Baum's book The Wizard of Oz – the well-known story about a young girl, Dorothy, who is searching for her home that was blown away by a hurricane. Along her way to meet the Wizard of Oz, the only one who can help her find her way home, she has some hair-raising adventures.

The story is filled with profound insights on life which, ultimately, lead Dorothy to understand that the wizard is within herself, and that it is she who has the power to change circumstances.

The magic words that Dorothy utters at the end of the story – There's no place like home – encapsulates the concept that symbolizes the residents' bond with where they are living.

The texts on the wall are quotes taken from the book and are intended to prompt reflection as the visitor walks past on the way to perhaps the restaurant, an event or the coffee shop. The exhibition enhances the journey along the corridor, creating a captivating sense of interest, involvement and aesthetics.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Ofra and Zippi who gave me a free hand in designing the exhibition, and to run with my ideas, while providing assistance whenever required. My thanks go also to Michal Shweiki whose excellent advice was of great assistance; to Orpa who was always willing to extend a helping hand, and to the maintenance and operations team who turned the concept into reality.

I hope the exhibition brings pleasure to the residents as they pass by every day and, in some small way, enriches their lives and brightens the day of the many visitors.



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Wednesday, 17 July 2024

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