Jerusalem paintings commentary

Women of Jerusalem
This painting is a transformation of an image in a painting by Rembrandt - The Woman of Samaria. In his version, Jesus is a shadowy figure gently connecting to a woman drawing water from a well. The Samaritans at that time were a group of Jews considered to be less than fully part of the community. In my version, none of the woman are connecting. Each is lost in their own world. However, the woman wearing a skull cap - unthinkable in modern ultra-orthodox dominated Jerusalem - is disquieted and reflective.

Holy Mountain
The Museum of the Seam in Jerusalem sits on what was the border between Arab East Jerusalem and Israeli West Jerusalem. Its walls are covered with battle scars and its windows and doors bricked up. The ascent of the holy mountain - Let us go up to the House of the Lord, says, David in a psalm - is blocked for Muslims and Jews. There is an on-looker who was always in this land, the ibex. There is release and depth - the cave.

No Separation Barrier
A people arrived and landed awkwardly. A people were already there.They cannot bear to look at each other. But the forces of life affirmation will always try to plunge beneath their hatred, beneath the walls that separate them.

Beit-El - How Holy is this Place
Jacob in Genesis sleeps in a mysterious place and meets an angel or is it a man and dreams of a staircase from heaven to earth. My friend P., a half Moroccan,half French Jew, arrived in Israel one night after her mother, in trouble with the law, fled from a European country. Her grandmother was a survivor of Auschwitz. She met G., whose family has lived in Israel for several generations. G.'s great grandparents gave up their beautiful home in Hebron that had been in their family for generations and re-settled in West Jerusalem in 1948. They made this sacrifice because they wanted to be helpful both to the new state of Israel and to the Palestinian people for whom Hebron was to become predominantly Arab. The two women in the picture are P. and G..