Orna Ben-Ami: Entire Life in a Package - World Tour Exhibition

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United Nations Headquarters, New York

Waterfall Mansion Gallery, New York

Palace of Nations, Geneva

Museum Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

Museum Villa Aurea, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro, Matera, Italy

Casa Romei, Ferrara Italy

Archivio di Stato, Torino, Italy

The University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

The Dennos Museum Center, Michigan, USA

KIA, Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Michigan, USA

Devos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University, Michigan, USA

February 27 – March 10, 2017

March - May 2017

June 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March - April 2018

May - September 2018

September - October 2018

November 2018

February -May 2019

June - August 2019

August - November 2019

Millions of refugees are millions of packages, suitcases...sacks. “Life packages” that hold the desire to survive. In it, they pack both hopes and pains. Behind every package there is someone looking for a place. The objects that people take, in one package, represent their identity and sense of belonging, their memories and hopes for the future. Iron expresses the will to hold on strongly to the identity which the objects symbolize. It renders them eternal and meaningful, like metal monuments. Iron brings out the physical and emotional weight of the journey.

Orna Ben Ami “softens” the iron by cutting and welding in her own hands, as we attempt to soften life, but the message remains charged both on the personal level and the collective. The combinations that Ben-Ami creates between the images taken by Reuters’ photographers and her iron sculptures, are the heart of this exhibition. “Artists” she says “have to donate their part, through their artistic skills, for designing a better future”.

Orna Ben-Ami was born in Israel in 1953. Joining the service at IDF in 1971, she became the first female military correspondent for the Army Radio station. Following her military service she was a reporter and news editor for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority radio station and enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she studied International Relations and History. The transition from working with words to working with materials began when she started to learn gold and silversmith, at the Jerusalem Technological Center. Between 1990 and 1992 she studied sculpture at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and from there continued her studies in Art History at Tel Aviv University. From 1994 Orna Ben-Ami is engaged in sculpting and uses iron as the main raw material for her artistic expression.

ORNA BEN-AMI