With the easing of restrictions people gradually returned to the outdoors to observe and to breathe. For some, this was the first time such an intense yearning for the outdoors was felt. The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and Outset Contemporary Art fund are bringing together a selection of outdoor sculptures from a wide range of museums and private collections. The focus of this first time collaboration will be to address the role of art and nature in regards to our physical and mental wellbeing.
The project will include 12-15 sculptural works by leading contemporary artists on loan from museums all over Israel. These works will be installed throughout the Botanical Gardens, in open as well as concealed spots, creating a cyclic route through which the visitors are invited to walk and discover the artworks through movement. The exhibition will be curated by Hadas Maor who is working closely with the botanical, scientific and educational departments of the gardens.
A detailed program of educational resources and activities for schools will also be developed. JBG currently works with over 250 schools and kindergartens, and this project will connect the important topics of nature, art and mental health for school children as well as families and older adults.
Taking in account the risk of a second wave of Corona, and also allowing for those still in isolation to experience the exhibition, we plan to create excellent virtual tours. This will allow for those outside of Israel to enjoy this rare collaboration of Israeli museums and thus enable an international reach of a universally relevant issue.
This innovative approach creating an opportunity for on site visits and online experience is an important example of adapting culture in the shadow of COVID. The Gardens also adheres to all Purple Badge guidelines and is finding a way to revive cultural engagement in the city under new conditions as well as pooling resources with other institutions across the country who cannot currently share their art and helping the public process their recent experiences and prepare for a new future living with COVID among us.