Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design was established in 1906 upon the foundations of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which swept the western world at the turn of the past century, and came to connect national identities with revived handcraftsmanship. Its founder, Jewish artist and sculptor Boris Schatz, perceived his project as a manifestation of Zionist ideals, as an ambitious and radical way to enhance national patriotism in pre-state Israel; for this, Bezalel has always had a special place in my heart. Therefore, I made my way to Mount Scopus campus in Jerusalem last week, to view the end of the year exhibition, which showcases works of graduating students. My tour was focused on the three design departments, which include fashion and metalsmith, industrial design, and the department of glass and ceramics. While the main theme interwoven throughout the exhibition is locality, I found the works that are departed from this scope more inspiring, fresh, and liberating. Here are my selects. (On top, table contains built-in tableware, by Hagar Magen).
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