The title of my artwork is a combination of two words: Jewel and Jerusalem.
My ‘Jewelsalem’ , 2005
The Old City of Jerusalem has been invaded many times throughout history. It was an “attractive” goal for military conquests by many peoples and religions during the last millennium. Jerusalem has known many breaks and ruptures that forced it to move from one culture to another. But, somehow, despite these wars and conquests, Jerusalem has risen from its ruins.
It is a city with thousands of stories, each evidence of joy or grief, of faith or deception, of hope or despair. This dichotomy has been there from time immemorial. Every stone in Jerusalem, of Jerusalem, has its own history.
Early Byzantine Map of Jerusalem, Madaba, Jordan
Nowadays, Jerusalem contains all of the many spirits that have, at one time or another, prevailed over the city. Yet, rupture also prevails. It prevails all over Jerusalem. Rupture is the outcome and the expression of the city’s series of never-ending defeats and conquests. It is an outgrowth of hegemony and it represents the downside of Jerusalem.
At the same time, a feeling of harmony and of infinite colors—and the opposite poles of cold colors versus warm colors—make this city a symbol of complementarities. Jerusalem is a city of contrasts, of extremes. From within the broken pieces, Jerusalem has maintained its beauty.
Detail: Cold and warm colors
This rich and colorful mosaic represents the quintessence of Jerusalem. It is a mosaic of edifices, and a spirit of the people emanates from each building. The variety of textures is the tangible side of the soul of this place.
In my eyes, Jerusalem breathes colorfulness and textural dimensionality. Jerusalem has the aura of a magnificent jewel. This mosaic artwork is the image of my desire to feel Jerusalem as a reconciled yet simultaneously ruptured center. Jerusalem is seen here as a magnificent place, where out of the thunderous rumbles, peoples strive for edification.
This mosaic work was conceived through a de-constructive process and is the result of new encounters between fragments and light. One of the keenest illustrations of this work is a poem called “Double Vision,” written by a friend of mine while she was contemplating my “Jewelsalem.”
An image on high mirrored below
Golden, shimmering, dream of perfection
Life of the spirit, brotherly love
The city above
The old that hides beneath the new
Ancient paths, shining temple
Tithes for the Levites, as the Prophet does
The city that was
A town that is divided in half
Multiple truths, realities clash
East and west, pain between people
Separate not equal
A motley mix drawn to a source
Belief in the journey, a walk to the Wall
My roots in this stone
A city my own