Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Aviva's Invitation

It's been a great summer. We've done some fun day trips, had quite a few lazy days at home, and travelled to the north of the country for several glorious days. I'm going to organise my photos and post them here soon, but in the meantime I can now show you this invitation design, created for a dear friend's daughter who celebrated her Bat Mitzvah this last weekend.
I know the young lady in question quite well, since her family visit Israel often and we always hook up when they are here. After a few emails back and forth I was able to put together a design which pretty much included all of her current interests and hobbies.
Aviva's Mum told me that one of the most important things in her daughter's life is her violin. Apparently she is a superstar with it and it *had* to feature in the invitation design. The Bat Mitzvah girl also plays the piano, so references to music - notes, treble clefs and staves - were suggested. She is very artistic, loves reading and is very studious too. All those attributes were incorporated into the design. Finally, Mum said the colour scheme was to be purple and that, if I was able, I should use both English and Hebrew in the design.
I have shown Aviva with her violin under her chin and a book in her right hand. A couple of pencils and some papers are nearby. Apparently she always wears a flower in her hair too, so a lilac one, to match the colour scheme, was a must! I initially had a piano in the top corner of my design but we all agreed that it felt too crowded. The music notes somehow looked younger and lighter.
I was delighted to receive my own invitation in the post a few weeks after I had sent my artwork to the UK (below), though I was less delighted to realise that it simply wasn't on the cards for me to travel abroad this summer. However, my friend told me that everyone was "raving about them [the invitations]" and that her daughter especially was very happy with my work.
Next up, Aviva's album. I'm saving that for another post.

Friday, 2 August 2013

"The 7th Floor"

The youngest son got very excited when I told him about "The 7th Floor" project, a graffiti and street art exhibition at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. He was so keen to go and see the exhibition that we really didn't think too much about the location. Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station, once the largest bus station in the world, is located in the poorest part of the city and in recent years it has become somewhat neglected. Numerous drug addicts, prostitutes and homeless people have taken residence there. It was probably not the safest place to take the kids, but is also the reason why the street art exhibition was created there. As the exhibition poster states "We dream of transforming the Central Bus Station building from a symbol of grey massiveness into a place of surprise and colour." 
We had to be brave. Oh, and we took Mister Handmade in Israel with us.
To get to the exhibition we headed to the seventh floor, the top floor of the station where thousands of travellers arrive and depart each day. There we were greeted by 1,000 metres of painted walls created by 50 artists including Israel's best graffiti artists, as well as artists from abroad. We saw the work of Pil Peled, Maya GelfmanAdi Sened and many more. It was interesting to compare and appreciate the differences in styles and techniques, and we enjoyed browsing the walls and choosing our favourites.
The aim of the exhibition is to raise public awareness of street art and was the vision of two Tel Avivians who wished to support the street art scene that has flourished in recent years in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. The idea is to change residents' attitudes toward their immediate environment. The explosion of colour, shapes and letters currently transforming the Central Bus Station building has certainly gone some way towards doing that, though there is clearly a long way to go.
After spending quite some time examining all the walls, we left quickly. We had thought about grabbing a quick falafel in the station but soon realised that it was not a place where we wanted hang out with the kids. We took the bus back to our home city instead and ate pizza in the shopping mall there. We felt safer.