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Paper birds bring peace to Jerusalem

by Ziva July 18 2008
Things to doArt

Origami work by Paul Jackson

Ever feel like expressing your love for Jerusalem? Then get out a piece of paper. No pen. Just paper. And start folding. That's the idea behind the new exhibition Origami Regards from the World to Jerusalem at the Moriah Hotel July 22nd through the 24th. Run by the Israeli Origami Center, the international exhibition presents 1,500 works of origami by artists of all ages from more than 15 countries and four world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Coinciding with the exhibition is their fourth international convention which welcomes 14 leading international origami masters, including Eric Joisel, who will lead round-the-clock workshops for adults and children on origami practices, techniques and fun. Joisel, from France, is known for creating complicated and intricate works through (relatively) simple techniques and papers.

Representing Israel's contribution to the field of origami art is Paul Jackson. Originally from England and currently living and teaching in Tel Aviv, his breathtaking works have been exhibited in prestigious museums around the world. Jackson is best known for elevating origami to the fine art frontier, bringing the technique much critical attention and respect through his masterful works and theories. During the three-day conference workshops are open to the public (at a daily rate or evening rate, with advance registration) for both long-time fans of the art form and newcomers alike. It's a great opportunity to acquire new techniques or hone budding skills in the company of talented teachers and artists.

All works created during the conference will join the 1,500 works of art on display at the hotel either hanging from the glass-topped ceiling or decorating its walkways which were created by children and artists from around the world as part of a commissioned project, run by the Folding Together organization, to create origami messages of love for Jerusalem. The instructions were simple: express your love for Jerusalem in a work of origami; no religious motifs, only abstract shapes; and make sure the work is stable and strong enough to be hung from above. "The response was amazing," says Miri Golan, a leading Israeli origami artist and Director of the Israeli Origami Center and the Folding Together organization. "We received such wonderful works reflecting such hope and love from individuals, especially children, from around the world."

The Folding Together organization has been bringing together children from East and West Jerusalem to create works of origami together over the course of the past year. As Golan explains, "When children create together, they forget about things like politics and difference. They learn to form a new language that's shared, open and new. It's about peer-to-peer, or people to people, interaction without politics." July 24th will celebrate the project's end at the hotel with a short documentary film about the project and a performance of the traditional Sakura song by participating children and Japanese opera singer Isako Ikada in Japanese, Hebrew and Arabic. The exhibition will travel across Israel to smaller Jewish and Arab communities until the end of the year.

For information on fees and registration for participation in conference workshops call 03-751-3483 or download the form (pdf).

Featured above, origami work by Paul Jackson folded from a single, uncut sheet courtesy of Paul Jackson.

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