Art students from EMIS in both DP1 and DP2 recently visited Jerusalem to see different styles of local and international art, as well as meet practicing artists and learn of their artistic techniques, inspirations, and messages.

Our first stop in Jerusalem was at the Beita Gallery, where there was an exhibit of the magnificent work of street artists "Brothers of Light". This exhibit showed the unique, modern street-inspired style. We were lucky enough to meet the brothers' artists, Elma and Gab, who rarely make public appearances regarding their artwork. They told us about the purpose and meaning of their art, as well as the techniques that allow them to achieve a precise, clean-cut appearance. The exhibition called “Last Tripp” depicted the artist’s own alternate world, manifested in their imaginations, which combined elements of real-life as well as abstraction. In their art, they used realistic objects such as plants, animals, and architecture but placed these in a surreal composition. This experience was very insightful and inspiring!

Following this, we visited Mishkenot Sha'ananim cultural center and Dwek gallery presenting the solo exhibition "Sea stains" of Sigalit Landau, a contemporary famous local artist. The exhibition includes several series of colorful drawings all of which are being exposed for the first time, together with two new video works that were not yet screened in Israel. The colorful drawings, using various techniques, were done sometimes as conceptual sequences; and often in order to clarify or illustrate ideas.

Our next stop was at the ART CUBE ARTISTS' STUDIOS in Talpiot. We met a few active artists and saw the process of the artists’ work. We visited the studio of Alon Kedem, a resident artist at the ART CUBE studio, who explained the extensive process which he takes in preparation for completed artwork. His artworks originated from observation and evolved from a realistic depiction into more of a cartoon style. He said that “the sketch starts off as just a seed and it grows into the final piece”. Seeing the studio inaction allowed the students to see the complete process and reassured the importance of planning and organization when creating a complex piece. We saw some of Alon’s early work in comparison to work from his current exhibition – "Hamudi". It was an interesting experience to listen to the artist's explanations.

Half an hour later, we arrived at the beautiful Israel Museum. We had a guided tour of four exhibitions, which explained the more complex meanings behind the pieces that would otherwise be unknown if taken at first glance. We first visited "Veiled women of the Holy Land", Jewish, Christians and Muslim women alike covering their entire body with several layers of shawls, wraps, and veils in adherence to strict laws of religion and modesty. From a distance, it is difficult to tell them apart.

Then we visited "MANIFESTO" - a series of short films, critiquing the relevance of artistic movements that made up the multifaceted expressions of Modernism and these Manifestos which reject tradition and are fueled by idealism. Each short film features the actress Cate Blanchett, starring as a different character.

We also visited the solo show of leading contemporary Israeli painter Gilad Efrat who explores the evolution of his unique painting style and approach, typified by “digging” into layers of paint. Starting with his earliest works, which focus on local and politically significant archeological sites, the exhibition moves to his later depictions of barren deserts, swamps, and moonscapes, before showcasing his most recent abstract paintings. The excursion ended with the whole group enjoying falafels in Abu Gosh and celebrating Shlomit’s (the art teacher) birthday. This excursion was an educational, whilst extremely fun and exciting experience for the students, from which we can use the knowledge and inspiration gained to grow and progress our own work.