In an ongoing collaborative project with A4I I have been working with families who suffered a traumatic event (most recently families evicted from their homes in Gaza and living in trailers), by painting any image they request in their home. In exchange, each family is asked to describe their personal paradise. The images they request to be painted are not ethereal, they are practical. As a result, the act of painting for them and taking particular care of a space in their home while asking them to meditate on their own paradise turns that space into a moment of personal escape and realized beauty. Below are images of specific homes and community spaces touched by the Paradise Project.
Efrat lives in a caravan with three children in B'nai Netzarim. She requested pots painted in the corner of her kitchen and Jerusalem stone in her living room.
Dahlia lives in the first home built in B'nai Netzarim. She wanted to redesign her room to be more age appropriate for a young girl.
Raaiah lives in the first home built in B'nai Netzarim. She lives in the room which also functions as a bomb shelter and wanted to put her favorite character on the wall, Winnie the Pooh.
Sarah Gerner wanted a piece that commemorated the lost temple. I also did a piece for her daughter who slept in the room, which also functions as the bomb shelter. The door was not finished properly so we painted something special around it.
The Grossman family lives in Ariel. The children decided to draw the painting we would create in their room from a story book they read everynight before bed. About 5 children sleep in this room.
The Etinger family lives in Ariel. The six children who sleep in this room decided together that they wanted Winnie the Pooh painted around the walls. As a result we created one main mural with small friezes around the room of grass and honey jars etc.
The Fisch family moved to Ariel not too long ago. They requested something sweet for their first child's new room. I also painted vines on the crib to match.
The Etinger family lives in Ariel. They had just reworked their caravan and rearranged the rooms. I painted the old synagogue and purple flowers in the girls room and the Mitzvah train (a train of good deeds) in the boys room. Each mural was requested by the children living in that space.
The Kindergarten teachers in Netzarim asked me to enliven the playroom with a mural for the kids. They also requested some simple touches in the kitchen area. In the playroom, a Winnie the Pooh mural was created and small vines and flowers were added to the posts and window in the kitchen.
After seeing the work in the Kindergarten, the families asked me to paint in the kitchen area of the Nursery.