BEVERLEY-JANE STEWART’S ‘Balfour Accomplished’ is a highlight of this year’s Jerusalem Biennale. .
(photo credit: HADAS SHAPIRA)
‘Balfour Accomplished” by British artist Beverley- Jane Stewart will be on display at Jerusalem’s Machtarot Museum (the Underground Prisoners Museum) from October 8 as part of the Jerusalem Biennale 2017.
Recognized for her exploration into the relationship between Jewish and British cultures, Stewart’s large-scale oil on canvas features imagery from the past and present to commemorate this year’s 100 year anniversary of Balfour Declaration – the historic letter dated November 2, 1917, from the United Kingdom’s foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Featuring imagery from a time of turbulence and change, Stewart’s painting tells the story of a unique period of history to illustrate the cementing and stabilizing of a lost nation and the story of the Balfour Declaration connecting to modern Israel and the Jewish destiny.
“Balfour in 1917 occurred at a time when Jewish People were experiencing massive pogroms and persecution in Eastern Europe. It was recognizing the fact that people had a right over their own destiny.
This was a bold and brave action for a British politician to initiate. I still believe that whatever a person’s religion or ethnicity, they have a right to be in control of their lives. This is still sadly relevant in today’s society where many people have lost their identity. This could be interpreted as a utopian wish but as an artist I aim for ideals,” says Stewart.
Founded in 2013, the Jerusalem Biennale is a platform for present-day professional artists and curators to exhibit works and present exhibitions that refer to Jewish thought, spirit, tradition or experience.
Stewart continues, “I am honored and extremely excited to have been invited to exhibit at this year’s Biennale and in particular, to have been asked to paint my interpretation of The Balfour Declaration.
Researching the piece both in the UK and during my recent travels to Israel has been fascinating and rewarding and I am looking forward to conveying this in my work along with marking the significance of this date in both Jewish and European history.”
Ram Ozeri, founder of The Jerusalem Biennale, added, “I can say the event around the Balfour Declaration in general, and Beverley-Jane’s work specifically, are one of the most exciting things for me as I look towards the Jerusalem Biennale 2017.
Beverley-Jane’s work is truly unique in the way it brings the evolution of Jewish and British identity to life.”
For more info about Jerusalem Biennale visit www.jerusalembiennale.org.