Israeli Artist to Shed Light on Refugees' Tragedies in UN Exhibition

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Israel's Ambassador Danon: "We hope that this exhibit will raise awareness about this important issue."

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I was shocked and moved by the view of the refugees over the past few years and I wanted to bring this sad and painful subject to the forefront of world opinion.

A special exhibition by Israeli artist Orna Ben-Ami entitled "Entire Life in a Package" will be displayed at the United Nations in partnership with The Israel Project from February 27 to March 10, 2017. The exhibit, which includes welded iron sculptures combined with photographs of refugees in various situations, focuses on the plight of refugees from around the world.

"I was shocked and moved by the view of the refugees over the past few years and I wanted to bring this sad and painful subject to the forefront of world opinion," said Ms. Ben-Ami. "Iron expresses the will of the displaced to hold on strongly to their identity and renders them eternal and meaningful, like metal monuments," she continued.

The artist aims to deal with the personal and the public alike. In her iron works, she attempts to combine heaviness and lightness. The substance is massive, while the result aims to appear soft, light and filled with emotion. “Along with the welded iron sculptures I combined, in my own way, treated images and charcoal sketches with iron, as one unit,” Orna said. “Iron brings out the physical and emotional weight of the journey. I attempt to "soften" the iron, as we attempt to soften life, but the message remains charged both on the personal level and the collective,” she said.

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sees special significance in his Mission hosting this exhibition at UN headquarters in New York. "As a nation which was dispersed throughout the world and who were refugees for many generations, we hope that this exhibit will raise awareness about this important issue," said Ambassador Danon.

Josh Block, the president and CEO of The Israel Project said: “As the world grapples with the biggest humanitarian drama in recent history, one that shatters the lives of many millions around the world, this exhibition brings the unique perspective of a renowned Israeli artist who, like many other Israelis and Americans, feel the pain and distress of those displaced by war, famine and disasters around the world.”

Members of the media are invited to a special opening of the exhibition.

Please RSVP to media.israel.un(at)gmail.com

When:     
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
6:00 pm

Where:     
Delegates Entrance
The United Nations

About the Artist:

Orna Ben-Ami, a former reporter and news editor transitioned from working with words to working with materials when she started to learn gold and silversmith techniques at the Jerusalem Technological Center. In 1990 she began studying sculpture at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. Ben-Ami has been engaged in sculpting and uses iron as the main raw material for her artistic expression since 1994. Orna Ben-Ami “softens” the iron by cutting and welding it in her own hands.

Ben-Ami has had thirty-two solo exhibitions in museums across the United States and her work has appeared in galleries and museums in Italy, France, Taiwan, Mexico and Israel. Forty of her outdoor sculptures are placed in public spaces in Israel and Germany.

Orna Ben-Ami
Orna.benami(at)gmail.com
972-50-6780511
http://www.ornabenami.com

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Jarad Geldner

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