“Blooming with Joy” at Ramat Hanadiv
In April, a diverse collection of about 9000 magnificent ceramic flowers, created and designed by pensioners from around the country with the initiative and guidance of the artist Shlomit Hefer, were “planted” in the flowerbeds at Ramat Hanadiv. This project, named “Blooming with Joy” (a play on words of the Hebrew גיל = gil, meaning both ‘age’ and ‘joy’) is a social-artistic initiative, expressing the vitality of Israel’s elderly.
This voluntary and not-for-profit initiative includes about seventy centers for the elderly throughout Israel and approximately 1700 people – from the Golan Heights in the north to the Eilot region in the south – and showcases the potential for growth and success present in each and every one of us regardless of our chronological age.
The participants, most of whom do not consider themselves artistic, discovered the joy of creation and the ability to express themselves. Each one created a flower that expresses their private, inner world. Shlomit Hefer joined all the flowers together to produce a common world picture that presents the elderly as an optimistic and creative community.
The initiative brings to the fore the desire to create and contribute, the willingness to learn and the joie de vivre of Israel’s elderly. Recognizing these abilities may change long-held approaches and attitudes to this broad population as presented by the media.
Our duty – as a society – is to enable the elderly to lead full, high-quality lives, since these are essentially the same people full of desire, ability and talent, as they always were. What is needed is a little more attention, recognition and an appropriate attitude, to reveal an immense field bursting with color and cooperative action.
The flowers were on display for seven months on the lawns of the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv. By courtesy of the Ramat Hanadiv management the flowers were brought here and will bloom along the paths of the gardens until Rosh Hashana, when the 5775 Shmitta year will end. The flowers were ‘planted’ in groups by color and family and represent the centers for the elderly by whom they were created.
About the artist:
Shlomit Hefer, a multidisciplinary craftswoman and artist, who has a studio in Pardes-Chana-Karkur, showcases her works in exhibitions around the country. As a professional physiotherapist, she worked for 25 years with the elderly and was exposed to their abilities. Similarly, Shlomit drew encouragement and strength from the positive approach of both her parents who were a driving force for her in this initiative.
You are welcome to visit, wander around and enjoy the rich and colorful flowerbeds.