Turkish and Israeli jewelry designers collaborate to create joint contemporary exhibition

Between a Break and a Breakdown: Jewelry as a Mirror of Our Times, a joint Israeli-Turkish exhibition being held as part of the 5th Jerusalem Biennale, opened Wednesday night.

 DIRECTOR AND chief curator at the Tower of David Museum Eilat Lieber, exhibit curator Ariel Lavian (center) and Rami Ozeri, founder and creative director of the Jerusalem Biennale at the Tower of David Museum. (photo credit: AARON PAZ)
DIRECTOR AND chief curator at the Tower of David Museum Eilat Lieber, exhibit curator Ariel Lavian (center) and Rami Ozeri, founder and creative director of the Jerusalem Biennale at the Tower of David Museum.
(photo credit: AARON PAZ)

A new exhibition at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem brings together 24 contemporary jewelers from Turkey and Israel.

Between a Break and a Breakdown: Jewelry as a Mirror of Our Times, being held as part of the 5th Jerusalem Biennale, opened Wednesday night without the presence of the Turkish artists, who were unable to get visas.

During the past year, 16 jewelers from Turkey and eight from Israel met via Zoom, and the exhibition is the product of this active discourse and meetings between them. In groups of threes, they discussed the impact of the COVID pandemic on their work and looked to see if there were any shared sentiments and challenges despite the fact that they were strangers and estranged with closed borders and from different cultures.

 UNRAVELING ENIGMAS at the Tower of David. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) UNRAVELING ENIGMAS at the Tower of David. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

“On one hand, the pandemic paralyzed some artists, but for others, it gave them a sense of freedom, and this is what the pandemic gave me: energy and time to explore,” said curator Ariel Lavian, who spent much of the first lockdown in his studio in Mevaseret Zion. “I came across some work of a contemporary jeweler in Istanbul, and realized that I knew nothing of my counter craftsmen in Turkey and reached out to her… and it was here that the idea to do a joint exhibition was born. It should have been a no-brainer as we share the same field of work in neighboring countries, but before COVID-19, I didn’t know anyone in Turkey. I asked myself, how could this be? In retrospect, it’s a pity that I did not reach out years earlier. I met 16 amazing people, wonderful artists, who I can call friends today and I am sure we will keep in touch both on a personal and professional level.”

The exhibit will be on display until the end of the year.