Birds can take on a world of diverse meanings. To some, they are symbols of surveillance – a Hawk's watchful eye that oversees one's every move. To others, they are a reminder of one's insufferable insomnia – masking sleepless sobs with their hooting. To thousands of elderly citizens across Israel, they represent a lighter entity: pure, unadulterated joy.
Inside the sparse grounds of the Eretz Israel Museum is an optimistic installation called, "Joy Birds." Joy Birds sheds light on Israel's retirement communities, encouraging them to channel their layered histories and experiences – both communal and individual – into one creative outlet. "Together, they weave a pulsating fabric of a population that dreamed, battled, established a home, built the nation and toiled, so that this land would prosper."
Sponsored by the Mediterranean Towers chain of retirement communities, this social-art project was conceived by artist Shlomit Hepher on the simple, yet poignant idea that creativity knows no age or limit. Hepher encouraged more than one hundred retirement communities around the country to share their stories from a bird's eye view as they express what values are most important to them, particularly during the aging process.
"Joy Birds" invites us on the wings of imagination to soar above and spread our own wings as we take on the stories of our ancestors with enthusiasm, passion, and pride.
On now at the Eretz Israel Museum. Exhibition closes October 31.