Artists use stickers and glass to raise awareness of autism, anorexia

“We are talking more about freedom and to bring something new to the world,” Satat-Kombor said.

Eli Karagh’s clothes represent strength, love and security with unique materials.  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Eli Karagh’s clothes represent strength, love and security with unique materials.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Student artists from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design have created artwork to advocate for individuals with mental, physical and emotional disabilities and severe illnesses.
They drew on their personal experiences dealing with issues such as visual impairment, anorexia and complex disabilities to create unique art displayed in their “Jewelry and Fashion End-of-Year Exhibition” on Tuesday.
Shelly Satat-Kombor, head of Bezalel’s jewelry and fashion design department, said she believes that there is a strong emotional connection within each piece at the exhibit, and that the art has made her students grow personally and artistically. She wants them to bring their own voice to the fashion world, in order to help improve it.
“We are talking more about freedom and to bring something new to the world,” Satat-Kombor said. “This year in particular, one can see the graduates’ attempts to define and map the chaotic atmosphere [in the world and the fashion industry] and to express the escapist spirit of the generation to which they belong.”
Satat-Kombor’s students utilized different techniques in their work, creating artwork out of jewelry, metal or even stickers.
“The idea of the department is to combine techniques and materials,” Satat-Kombor said. “We are teaching them to work with techniques like 3-D printing, drawing, sewing and jewelry.”
Three recent graduates created unique projects that show not only their artistic journey through fashion, but also how fashion helped them deal with personal struggles of illness and disabilities.
Neta Ben Basat dedicated her jewelry creations to her mother, who is visually impaired. The pieces she created include a bracelet that protects the wrist from harm, a metal necklace that holds glasses, and a bracelet with a flashlight.
“Every piece is related to something you do during the day,” Ben Basat said. “There is a handpiece that is like a guide, or for personal space. When you reach for something, the pearls at the end touch first so you don’t hurt your hand.”
Ben Basat created jewelry that is fashionable and functional. She was inspired by her mother, who is an artist as well. She wants to continue designing for the visually impaired so that people will ask them questions and not judge them.
“The main goal is that people will come to people who wear the pieces and say ‘What is this?’” Ben Basat said. “I think the project is for everyone.”
Another recent graduate, Adi Kachtan, created pins made of stickers to wear on clothes. This accessory was inspired by her sister, who struggles with autism and finds comfort in arranging stickers in a linear fashion.
“It’s really a story of my life,” Kachtan said. “I wanted to take my thoughts out on this situation. When I was little, it felt like some secret. I didn’t tell everybody my story with my brothers and sisters. Now I take out my feelings on this project.”
According recent graduate Elli Karagach, art in general holds up a mirror to help her reflect on her personal journey. Karagach started dancing ballet at a young age, and was diagnosed with anorexia when she was 14 years old. She began studying fashion toward the end of her treatment.
“When I had to choose a subject for the final project, it was clear to me that this was the most true and honest thing I could do,” Karagach said.
Karagach created various pieces of see-through clothes on glass figures to highlight the lines of a dancer. She drew inspiration from geometric shapes in architecture, and created a metal-wired skirt around one of the figures.
“I chose to use glass because glass on the one hand is so strong, but in one second glass could break,” she said. “It’s like me. In one second I could be strong and in the next second I could break.”
Karagach said she wanted the shear fabric clothes to emulate how she wanted to see herself in them. She also included writing, both in English and Hebrew, on the glass figures to demonstrate messages of strength and love.
“I want to use fashion to help other girls like me,” she said. “I wanted to see clothes that would make them feel more like strong women.”

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