Highlights from Israel - The Land Of Contradictions

Israel was full of interesting contradictions - between secular and spiritual, between right and left, between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, between energy conservation and keeping cool, city and rural, friends and family - thought provoking to say the least!

Home Base at Kibbutz Kefar Rupin

With Jackie Attiya-Waik and her three children, I felt like one of the family. Setting up my workspace, enabling me to be creative and play with ideas, inspiration and on-the-road commissions, cooking meals and coming and going according to the whim of the day.

The Kibbutz is located about 10 minutes from the Jordanian border and is probably the hottest place in the country throughout the summer – I happened to be there in the biggest heat wave ever experienced - where all the heat sits and hovers in the valley, without escaping  – creating a sense of living in an oven. If visiting in any other season, I could have enjoyed bird watching (a reknowned path of migratory birds), exploring the numerous fish-ponds surrounding the kibbutz… However, in the peak of summer, indoor air-conditioned creativity and rest was really the only option whilst staying on the kibbutz, when I wasn’t observing Jackie at work…

Jackie has a glass studio, separate from the house where I got to watch her fusing glass creating some wild and wacky mezuzot (a kind of talisman that Jewish people traditionally attach to the doorpost of their houses (some attach to every room of the house). The mezuzah contains a miniature scroll of sacred text, protecting the life within...

The Sachneh

These ancient natural springs, close by the Kibbutz Kefar Ruppin, near Beit She’an were a welcome respite – swimming here was one of those wondrous moments, where I needed to pinch myself and touch the surrounding stone walls to believe that I was not floating in some dream-world.