Monday, 20 July 2015

Umbrellas in the Sun

Every July, the streets of Águeda in Portugal are covered in a colourful art installation known as "The Umbrella Sky Project". The project is only a few years old but has already become world renowned. It has since crossed the world and spread to streets in Turkey, Germany, England, Luxembourg and other countries. This summer it was Jerusalem's turn to welcome the umbrellas!
Yoel Moshe Solomon Street, in the historic Nachalat Shiva neighbourhood, was the chosen street and has been decorated with hundreds of colourful umbrellas which appear to float in the air (they are of course suspended by barely visible wires).
Nachalat Shiva was founded in 1869 by seven (shiva in Hebrew) Jewish families from Jerusalem’s Old City, and was the third neighbourhood to be built outside the Old City walls after Mishkenot Sha’ananim and Mahane Israel. It was founded as a cooperative effort by the seven families who pooled their funds to purchase land and build homes. Lots were cast and Yosef Rivlin won the right to build the first house in the neighbourhood. In 1873, milk cows were imported from Amsterdam and a dairy was opened in Nachalat Shiva. A carriage service to Jaffa Gate was inaugurated that summer.
Nowadays it is one of Jerusalem's most arty streets, and is filled with jewellery, craft and souvenir shops, as well as cafés, and several historic synagogues. A large, imposing building at the very end of Yoel Moshe Solomon Street, constructed by a Christian Arab from Bethlehem, was called the Baharav Hotel. The hotel’s location near Jaffa Road and in the centre of town made it a popular venue for British officers. In more recent years it became the offices of The Jerusalem Report magazine, which was where I worked, firstly as a designer and then as Art Director, in my very first job in Israel!
Yoel Moshe Solomon Street has been decorated as the opener of the Ha’Ira (back to town) campaign, launched by the Jerusalem Municipality. It looks gorgeous and is a wonderful attention-grabbing way to welcome visitors downtown. Free shows by local street artists and musicians will be running until the 5th of October.
The umbrella's put me in a summery mood and also seem to match my cards! A new customer spotted this card in my Etsy shop and asked me to create one for his wife. He kindly messaged me after her birthday to tell me that his wife "loved the card."
These recent creations were also "umbrella-coloured". Obviously the colourful umbrellas on Yoel Moshe Solomon Street have had a strong influence on my work!

4 comments:

Miss Val's Creations said...

The umbrellas are so colorful and uplifting! Yoel Moshe Solomon Street sounds like my kind of street to stroll down. I bet the food is delicious there too. I love your summery cards.

TexWisGirl said...

how gorgeous! love your cards, too!

Alison said...

Those umbrellas look great, don't they? so colourful and I love the shadows they cast on the ground. Your cards do mirror the umbrella colours, very summery!
The Festival of Light is exciting too, what a lovely way to spend time with your son. xx

The House with the Blue Door said...

Your cards are gorgeous and do echo the umbrella colours. The umbrellas are a lovely idea and look so vibrant against that blue sky. They'd be very useful here today - it's pouring with rain!
Cathy x

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