"Even though this journey wasn't easy for me, I'm glad for having it," explains
Dana Peretz, a recent graduate of The Neri Bloomfield School of Design and
Education. Her project, "Arad—Temporary Name", is one of many featured at the
graduation exhibit this year at the school located between Haifa's harbor and
the world-famous Bahai Gardens.
The 4th year students from the Visual
Communication department were given an advisor who they worked with weekly, in
addition to meeting with other students to get a wide variety of input. No
formal assignment was given; instead, the students were free to find their
inspiration from anything in their lives. Following the completion of the
projects, an exhibit is currently displayed at the school showcasing the
Despite the lack of assignment given, an interesting
phenomenon took place. Many of the students found inspiration in their own
lives, in hard times they lived through, in the unique experiences they had as
children of Israel.
Peretz chose to return home to create her project.
"When I was 21 I left Arad, my hometown and since then, I've barely been to
visit, even though my family still lives there. I always waited for the moment
when I would be able to leave," she explains. "But when I found myself behind
the camera, I could detach my feelings from the city and look at the beauty of
it, for the first time."
Amit Weizman began his project inspired by the music of
the '90s. Yet as her work progressed, she realized that the music was only the
beginning. "As my guide, Yaron Shin, and I, were talking about this subject, I
realized that the music is just a small part of a significant period for me and
for people who grew up in the 90's," she says.
Weizman's project, entitled
"Adolescence Diary," is a reflection on the time period in which she grew up. Yet
she believes the piece is not simply personal. "Although you can find a few
personal stories, this diary is not personal because it leans on collective
events that happened in Israel during the 90's and I believe had affected all of
us in one way or another," she explains.
A feature of Weizman's project is
his humorous spin on movie posters from the '90s, with gas masks placed over the
faces of the characters. It is this series that so clearly defines Weizman's
childhood as inherently Israeli. Weizman explains, "As I see it, all of us who
grew up in the 90's had a very similar experience to other teenagers in the
world in that time. We all watched the same movies, listened to similar music,
wore the same clothes, had emotional issues, etc, but being a teenager in Israel
that time forced us to deal with much bigger issues and grow up
Alla Odelia Pivkopa, another student of the school, also chose to
do her project inspired by the events of her childhood, particularly that of
immigrating to a new country. She explains, "Since the beginning of my studies,
I always knew that my graduation project would be about my conversion to
Judaism, because it was a very important and meaningful experience for me. But I
realized that it is a lot more complicated than just one experience."
"I was 13
when I migrated to a new country, and during my service in the IDF I converted
to Judaism out of genuine faith," she says. "Since then, much like other people
who have relocated to a new country, I'm living and breathing the constant
search for a place in society for my own identity, with all the complexities of
a cultural mix." In her project, titled "Place, Heritage, Religion," she chose
to use everyday objects such as clothes and books, to show that the search for
identity and balance between the different worlds is an every day
Other students along with Weizman, Peretz, and Pivkopa chose
personal subjects for their projects, each with a slightly different spin. Nurit
Benshitrit's project, "Banana Jam", parallels her own diary with that of Anne
Frank, discovering that each girl had a common way of seeing the world, despite
their different childhoods. Tal Gutberg chose to make a short documentary of her grandmother's life, as seen through her eyes.
students weren't surprised to see how many of them drew on personal experiences,
inner conflicts, and their mixed heritages to create their works. Pivkopa says,
"Finishing such an important chapter in our life has many emotions attached to
it. I think that many of us wanted to do a project using past experiences in
order to close this chapter and begin a new one whole."
Weizman adds, "I think
the choice of creating art out of personal experiences is natural. But the
projects are never just personal. When it's based on personal experience, it
always has something to say about a wider phenomenon."
graduation from the school, the students have a variety of plans for the future.
For Weizman, the plans are unclear, although he hopes to continue in the field
of graphic design, with a focus on music. Peretz opened her own small business a
few months ago, focusing on design and business branding in Haifa, and his
hoping her client list continues to grow. Peretz will be moving to Norway at
the end of the month, planning on getting her masters in design in Europe. She
says, "I want to develop myself in this field and at the same time, get a new
experience in a new country."