Israelis are well known for being industrious – especially when it comes to turning innocuous every day materials such as tomato cans, or in Naama Arad’s case, paper into beautiful works of art.
The Middle East boasts some of the world’s saltiest waterbodies, but none approach the horror of Lake Natron in Tanzania, one of the harshest environments on the planet. It’s hot, chalky waters can turn birds and land animals into calcified statues, spookily captured by photographer Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land.
Israeli photographer Gabi Menashe loves outdated artifacts so much, he takes them apart, “one bolt, spring, button at a time,” and then artfully assembles the pieces for photographs published on his website Taking Apart.
Today is World Refugee Day. Some good news for a change: Refutrees is a new non-profit that’s turning the traditional aid-centric model of development on its head. These self-described “creativity agents” place particular focus on people displaced over the long-term. They’re currently working on projects for Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Lebanon.
Using only upcycled objects, French artist Bernard Pras reinterprets iconic images through the art of anamorphosis. Relying on old trash gathered near his installation sites, Bernard Pras from France assembles clothes and rags, wood, old record albums, dishes, broken toys (and anything else he can grab) to re-interpret pop-culture images. It’s far from ad hoc: […]
It’s Earth Day, which means you will see at least 100 stories in your Facebook and Twitter feeds that will list the many ways that you can become a better earthly citizen. And most of them are valid. Yet I yearned to find a more meaningful way to honor the day, so this year I […]
We love the creative eco design coming out of Tel Aviv. Israel faces nationwide challenges of mismanaged waste and insufficient recycling infrastructure, but from the deserts of Morocco to the streets of Tel Aviv, artists like Yotam Shifroni and Gidi Gilam are seeking solutions through creativity. Around four months ago, Shifroni and Gilam opened Studio Sfog in Tel Aviv. Sfog means “sponge” […]
Israeli street artist Nitzan Mintz writes her poems on the streets of Tel Aviv, using disregarded materials she collects from dumpsters and public spaces. “I use only recycled materials in my art,” she said.
Green Prophet’s resident photographer documents “cut” Hajar Mountains in the United Arab Emirates. Huge swaths of the Hajar Mountains in the UAE’s northern emirates appear ghostly white when viewed on Google Earth. Closer examination of the satellite imagery reveals large chunks of missing hillside and some sort of quarrying operations, and my recent physical visit to […]
Plastic bottle cap picture by Mary Ellen Croteau The caps are synthetic artifacts, plastic products that usually aren’t (and more often, can’t be) recycled. Self-described political artist Mary Ellen Croteau explores absurdities of social norms, exposing the “underlying bias and sexist assumptions on which culture is constructed. So says her website, but her amazing artworks also […]
Armed with knitting needles, Israelis and Palestinians are knitting for peace! The TikkunTree Project is a community knittivist art project dedicated to advocacy of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This ambitious community art project is growing a tree, an enormous knitted tree whose fiber leaves and fruits and branches will shelter doves made of yarn: […]
Images of Tadashi Kawamata’s extraordinary installation entitled Chairs for Abu Dhabi has been circulating the blogosphere the last few days. A follow up of a similar project featured in France, the piece consists of hundreds of chairs – mostly vintage and recycled – stacked on top of one another like a giant hollow mountain of […]
“The Sea is Mine” is a unique live art piece and interactive theatrical production bringing awareness to Beiruti’s on the tragic history and destiny of its seashore A familiar ongoing struggle along Beirut’s waterfront is that between those who want free access to the sea and the privatization of the Mediterranean seashore. “The Sea is […]
Despite the many stereotypes about residents of Gulf countries, many people prefer creative, sustainable boutiques to shopping in big glitzy malls, though their options are typically fairly limited. Which might explain why Bahrain’s Market 338 has become such a popular destination. Inaugurated by Al Riwaq Art Space, the temporary souq in Manama’s Adliya district started with […]
Whether your sandy reminiscences are wet or dry, two artists have devised ways to make your memories tangible. My brain inextricably links sand to sea thanks to 25 summers spent on a New Jersey barrier island. Middle East experiences have me now connecting the grainy stuff to locations and memories largely devoid of water, such […]
Icelandic artist Elín Hansdóttir has combined mud and mirrors in this unusual interactive eco-art exhibit for Morocco. Designed as part of the Marrakech Biennale earlier this year, the earthy installation features pillars of mud and straw organized into a spiral design that is then fronted with mirrors that reflect the exhibit itself and the surroundings.
Art has a way of jarring our perspective. Here are 6 groundbreaking projects that are changing the way people in the Middle East relate to their environment. Just today we read about an Egyptian artist who has spread her creative wings since Mubarak’s fall only to have them clipped again by increasing powerful Islamist groups. […]
Ilan Suisa, a father of four from Akko (Acre), aspires to make his ancient hometown the environmental activism capital of Israel. According to news reports he has even changed his name to “Ilan Green-Suisa.” Over time, Green-Suisa convinced the Akko municipality to place forty recycling bins throughout the city: ”Akko won the first place in Israel for recycling,” […]
An Israeli Minister has submitted a bill for approval that would outlaw public nudity anywhere in the country except at established nude beaches. An outspoken opponent of Spencer Tunick’s September, 2011 nude photo shoot at a secret location along the Dead Sea, which attracted 1,000 Israelis keen to draw attention to the dire ecological state […]
Guy Lougashi makes incredible sculptures entirely out of either colored or transparent tape. Eschewing the hardening or drying phase of many sculptural materials such as clay or paper pulp, the artist claims that tape is an incredibly versatile material that forms an excellent foundation for other design projects. And now it’s possible to glean some […]
The first hydroelectric dam built in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, the Çubuk Dam was promoted as “Ankara’s Bosphorus”. A new exhibit at Istanbul’s avant-garde SALT Galata gallery, Graft, throws open the archive of material about Turkey’s first major hydroelectric projects in the 1930s. The display critically analyzes the motives behind these early endeavors — and the […]
Mosaic artist Ruslan Sergeyev and the “My Wave” recycled ceramic art creation on Netanya promenade. Festival includes a mosaic of lost socks. Photo by Igor Sarni Israel’s eight-day Sukkot festival, now ongoing, often includes a number of motifs and local themes which give emphasis to projects that help preserve the environment. This year is no […]
Iranian environmental activists and artists are getting bolder. Recently, “tree huggers” planted these stumps on a street in the city of Kerman to protest against deforestation. Sometimes environmental activists are visionary people who take enormous personal risks. Ashley Fruno from PETA was arrested for parading around Jordan covered in nothing but lettuce. Bill McKibben and […]
“Let the world see the openness of Israel,” wrote one participant. Fortunately, mostly positive press dominates the Naked Sea photoshoot, which took place on private property along the shores of the salty lake. Prior to the Spencer Tunick photo shoot at the Dead Sea this Saturday, international coverage of the famed artists latest installation was […]
“Israel is not a theocracy, it is a democracy. We want to create a work that would probably not happen anywhere else in the Middle East.” Spencer Tunick, photographer. If all goes according to Spencer Tunick’s plan, the Dead Sea will serve as the backdrop this Saturday September 17 for his next photographic installation: hundreds […]
From small-scale butterflies to large horses, Reuven Fields’ scrap metal sculptures breathe life into discarded pieces. It takes a lot of energy to mine metals from the earth, and significantly less energy to recycle metals into something new. But if you can upcycle used metal scraps into something else (such as an upcycled aluminum can […]
Echinodermus and Pissenlit–created by TILT. With towering trees made of light, flying acrobats, and psychedelic music, the Jerusalem Festival of Light seemed more like a big carnival for grown-ups than a forum for environmental art. Happily, many of the artists featured at the festival made sure to include sustainability and social responsibility in their designs. […]
Medical device industrial designer creates eco-friendly Amazonian vibrators. Award-winning designer, Ofer Zick, didn’t intend to be a green advocate when he founded ‘ThinkingOfYou – Erotic Icons‘, but his grown-up T.O.Y. provides sustainable pleasure nonetheless (see the box below to learn more about what makes adult toys green). As an industrial designer, his specialty is medical […]
Internationally-acclaimed dance Ido Tadmor does an enigmatic dance for the Dead Sea at Kalya Beach. (image by Inbal Marmari) Becoming one of seven natural wonders can have enormous benefits for tourism, though competition is steep. Among the 28 candidates for the present campaign are the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, and the Grand Canyon. Scores […]
If you’re in Dubai, don’t miss out on the opportunity to see Camille Zakharia’s beautiful photographic exhibition called Coastal Promenade. Even tiny Bahrain has been swept up by the furor that has uprooted despotic regimes throughout the Middle East. And it’s not hard to see why. This once quaint coastal country has been overrun by […]