One of the most colorful events of the Succoth
holiday week - the Volcanica 2 festival, which combined beautiful
natural surroundings with sculpting in basalt - took place in Orvim
Park ("Raven Park") in the northern Golan. The event was held in
conjunction with KKL-JNF, the Tourism Association, Mei Eden and the
Golan Regional Council. Throughout the park sculptors from Galilee, the
Golan and all over Israel busied themselves creating beautiful and
original sculptures from basalt. KKL-JNF staff welcomed the multitude
of visitors in the KKL-JNF succa, showed them round the park and
explained the best way to tour the Golan.
visitors made enjoyable use of the picnic facilities provided in shady
corners of the park by KKL-JNF, while the children clambered on the
active sports installations dotted about the park. Many of the visitors
spoke to the artists about their work and tried their hand at sculpting
in basalt themselves, creating a cloud of dust that floated in the air.
Among the many guests in the park we met Shmuel Hazan, CEO of
the Golan Tourism Association and initiator of the festival. "The
festival is becoming a Golan tradition," he told us. "This is the
second year it has been held, and it will continue to develop in the
years to come. Raven Park, which was developed by KKL-JNF, is the
perfect venue for the festival and the perfect showcase for the basalt
sculptures. These sculptures are a lasting testimony to the Golan's
fruitful and empowering cooperation with KKL-JNF, and a tangible
example of the region's flourishing tourism and artistic activities.
Raven Park forms part of the complex we call "The Northern Gate of the
Golan," an area that combines tourism, restaurants, a winery and
adventure sports. This area is in the process of being developed around
the park to serve both as a starting point for tours of the area and as
a focal point for visitors, who are attracted by the sculpture garden
and its amenities, which are maintained by KKL-JNF."
We met Iris Dorfman, KKL-JNF volunteer, beside the KKL-JNF
visitors' succa: "Here at this site we can feel the Jewish People's
love for the Land of Israel. All the visitors who come here ask to join
the KKL-JNF Green-E and get e-mail updates on the organization's range
of activities. They stop here for a picnic and stay for about two
hours, walking among the sculptures placed about the park and talking
to the sculptors, while the children clamber around in the playground.
There's a very pleasant atmosphere here. Families who come from the
center of the country meet other families and they continue their tour
together, even though they've never met before."
The Shmuelovitch family - Shaked, Elad, Tomer and
Alon - from Petah Tikva, enjoyed their walk round the park and their
conversations with the various sculptors. "We wanted to see how they
set about creating a sculpture, and so we came here. We talked to the
sculptors and they told us how they had selected the basalt rocks and
brought them to the sculpting area, and how they had decided to create
their sculpture. It's important for them to connect with nature,
because the sculptures will be placed in the park, where all the
visitors can see them and touch them."
Shaked Steinberg and Shahar and Ofri Avissar, from Kiryat Ata,
were pleased to get the Green-E weekly e-mail and discover that such a
special event was due to take place in the Golan. "When we saw that
there was to be a sculpture festival in the Golan we decided to come
along and see it, because it's very interesting. It's really fun here.
You can play, run and climb as much as you want!"
spoke to some of the sculptors who were working away enthusiastically,
enjoying being outside and the special connection this allowed them
with the public, who showed great interest and took part in the
Gili Frankel, a sculptor from the Had Ness community, wearing a
protective mask to keep the stone-dust out of his face, created a work
named Spiral at the event. "This is the second year that I've taken
part in the Volcanica Festival. A very special type of cooperation has
been created here, which allows artists and visitors to experience a
genuinely direct encounter that energizes and inspires all of us. I'm
proud to be part of this project, and hope that KKL-JNF will continue
to bring visitors here to see our work, which has been created out of
nature and is now exhibited in natural surroundings."
Shlomo Dahan, artist and sculptor from Kfar Saba: "This is a
wonderful opportunity for me - to come here from Kfar Saba and be given
the chance to work in natural surroundings, in a place that inspires
me. This festival is a gift, and all those involved should be
congratulated on it."
Shai Vaknin and Shlomo Arel, sculptors from Nahariya, told us,
as they stood beside their sculpture Talking Heads, "We're enjoying
ourselves here, working together and welcoming visitors. This is a rare
opportunity for people to see us at work. They ask questions that lead
us to re-examine our work. It's very exciting."
Varda Ben Hurin, Director of the Golan Artists' Forum in
Katzrin, is the creator of the sculpture entitled Butterfly. "This is a
welcome initiative that enables artists from the periphery to break
into the public consciousness. In this environment, created by the
cooperation between the artists and KKL-JNF, the public becomes an
inseparable part of our work. This is a very special place, because of
its scenery, the Hermon, Nahal Oravim ("Raven River") and this
delightful park that is so beautifully maintained and cared for."
Youp de Yong, sculptor, Kibbutz Merom Golan, creator of the
sculpture entitled Covenant: "My works can be found in the Golan,
throughout Israel and in many parts of the world. My latest work is
designed to stand in this unique park and welcome those who visit it,
in rain, snow or shine. It is intended to make them think about their
relationship with the written word and the Jewish sources."
Yaakov Horowitz, sculptor, Rosh Pina: "What characterizes this
event is the joy of creation and the combination of experienced
artists, young artists and the visitors. Master classes arise
spontaneously, which is a very unusual thing in sculpture."
we strolled among the sculptures in the park we met Danny Gannon, a
farmer from Kibbutz Merom Golan, who told us of the vital role played
by the KKL-JNF Orvim water reservoir, adjacent to the park. "The Orvim
reservoir collects flood water from surface pools and supplies water to
irrigate agricultural produce in the northern Golan. It's a very
welcome initiative. KKL-JNF, by means of these reservoirs, allows
residents of the northern Golan to grow a variety of produce and make
their living from it."