"Negev, open wide the arms of your steppes, your vast expanses, to the land-thirsty, because today we come to you, to enter with you into a covenant of life and deed."

    From Mitzpe Gvulot’s founding charter, 1943

    Years have passed since David Ben Gurion's vision of populating the Negev desert came to fruition as the first communities were established. The ethos of creation "ex nihlo” has informed the region's unique culture and art life. The artists whose works are featured in the exhibition all live and work in the south, south of the bustling metropolis of Tel Aviv.

    In the foyer, Shootzi and Liron Gavish created an installation out of wood pieces collected from nearby carpentries which come together to represent the mythical Phoenix. This desert-dwelling bird, myth has it, lives for a thousand years; when it reaches the end of its days it builds a nest out of cinnamon twigs, wails a lament, sets fire to the nest and bursts into flames. From the ashes, it arises anew.

    The motif of the Negev landscape recurs through many of the exhibits. Yona Levy Grossman, among the evacuees from the Sinai settlement of Yamit, is painting the landscapes she was forced to leave behind, as well as those among which she made her new home. Shula Fremder takes the viewer into the world of local colors and flora. In Laura Behar's paper art, made from wild local herbs and plants, the Negev landscape is, too, a major source of inspiration.

    Zohar Morag draws on her childhood photographs, conjuring up old images, words, and feelings in her paintings, giving them new life. It is through the image, whether etched on metal or engraved on wood, that the intangible becomes tangible.

    Judith Meyer set up her home and studio in Beersheba, the capital of the Negev, following the belief that ceramic artists ought to live and work where the raw materials for their work are found. Meyer, who is working with different types of materials found in the Negev, draws the inspiration for her formal experiments from her lengthy excursions through its expanses. Meyer serves as curator of Negev Museum of Art in Beersheba, which is home to many artists working in the city.

    The artists exhibited are: David Goldstein, Anna Dan, Yona Levy Grossman, Zohar Morag, Eva Shalev and Liron Gavish and Shootzi. The artists affiliated with the Negev Museum of Art in Beersheba are Suzanne Eilat, Laura Behar, Enrique Veis, Shulamit Davidovich, Moti Deriel, Michael Lifel, Yehudit Meir, Shula Fremder, Oren Raz and Gidon Shani.

    Curator: Esh-Binimov.

    The works are displayed in all areas of the hotel, including the public spaces and 50 guestrooms.



    The Artists: Lucy Elkivity / Yoram Gal / Iris Hever / Joel Iglinsky
    Ariella Cohen / Yona Most / Tzachi Nevo / Hayim Salti
    Dalia Sela / Hila Sali / Rachel Eshet / Aaron Zigel / StudioKnob
    Izzy Blanga / Yaara Blanga

    "… But it’s not the pearls that make the necklace; it’s the thread.” 

    The Diaghilev is the connecting thread for many pearls; pearls of color or no
    color, pearls of various surprising materials, pearls that make up a rich, and 
    fascinating necklace. 

    Faraway cultures recorded on rugs. Near and distant cultures are recorded in warp and woof. The past which is already woven in them will become more distant in the future. More than 350 handmade rugs are proudly cushioning the feet of those coming and going.

    Entrepreneurship. Around the house there are entrepreneurs working on the next thing in light of past or contemporary inventions. Are they on time, or perhaps they have missed their chance? Optimistic and passionate, they believe they are creating that which we cannot do without, that which will render them famous. 

    Diaghilev guests. The Diaghilev guests come from different worlds, and places. They might pop in for a moment, they might stay one night or more, they might enjoy a beer or a pleasant meal at the Back Stage. They bring in their own unique spice, and take with them some of what we have to offer. They immerse themselves in the experience, and add to the necklace before they move on.

    Diaghilev Staff. Diaghilev Staff are all team-players who are passionate about their work. They create the human pearl, and polish it for our newly arrived guests, or for those who have come to stay a while, and for those who have just left.  

    The Artists. About 600 works of art in various materials, colors, and lines. Passion in the making, pre-planned art, colorful or monochrome. Wood, fabric, iron, gold, and plastic make up the dialogue between them.

    There is art is all around you in the Diaghilev, in the public spaces and in the rooms, each artist with his own rhythmic world: Rachel Eshet with dots, Lucy Alkiviti with unique lines, landscapes by Aharon Zigel, and masks by Zahi Nevo, all come to the conversation, because there are many voices, many types of pearls, all unique, and all threaded together to form the wonderful Diaghilev necklace. 

    Hidden Space


    Ruth Avieli / Yoni Ben Shalom / Sarith Haas /Shoshanna Givon / Mina Sisselman / Tal Yerushalmi / Rochelle Mass / Yanai Segal Adi Sened / Shahar Sarig / Hana Shir. Photography class Students, Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

    Curator: Esh-Binimov.

    The sun-burnt landscapes and residents of Jezreel Valley are dissected in the hands of Rachel Mass. Taken apart into surfaces of earth and color and then put back together, resembling torn bits of paper or a topographical map .In Shachar Sarig’s imagery, the people of the valley are more than the imprint of their native landscape. Inside, they bear deep secrets and hidden worlds.

    His brightly colored paintings tell stories of complicated lives that provide a sharp contrast to the stereotypical image of the sleepy valley. Sarig replaces the traditional, white Shabbat shirt of the Moshav man, who speaks the blessing over the wine, with a blue work shirt, and imprisons grey doves, plucked from their native open areas, in the enclosed spaces between people and building fragments.

    The mini-box figures that bear such sympathy for Tel Aviv are the creations of Adi Sand, who drew them on discarded computer cases. Dressed up as sea-faring pirates or one-eyed Santa Claus characters, the mini-boxes are attempting to conceal the coldness of their metal bodies and the broken stubs of their legs.

    As our gaze is drawn away from the mini-boxes, it shifts to something beside them, in the overcrowded urban space: in a style that looks like graffiti, or perhaps a series of

    hieroglyphs, Yoni Ben Shalom meticulously draws symbols, landscapes, and images that join together to form a profound text.

    In the empty spaces between the rural and the urban, between metal and earth, we find the portraits of Tal Yerushalmi, inspired by both primal, tribal motifs, and the modern-day image ejected on demand from her home printer. As it passes through the prism that is the artist’s eye, the familiar outside world is transformed into countless hidden spaces, with their own lives and their own rules.

    Eye Territory

    "…its legs in the air, Its head in clouds of floor.”

    Ronny Someck, excerpt from the poem "Napkin” Man’s eyes capture images and join them together to express emotions, opinions, and perspectives on life. The poet uses the aesthetic qualities of language as well as its literal meaning. A letter joins another to form a word, and together, they create unique meaning and phonetic pronunciation that are added to the text’s graphic appearance. The painter uses color to create lines and shapes, structuring the illusion of light, movement, volume and depth. In the art of knitting, the lines are tied to one another through loops called "eyes”. The "eyes” of a thread from one line are looped around those of its neighbor.

    The exhibited works speak the "eye speech” of each artist, exposing it, to be experienced by the viewer as a unique point of view. The viewer is welcome to explore with his own eyes that, which the artist’s eyes have seen.

    Artists: Ofra Ohana / Anisa Ashkar / Itay Benit / Shiri Bar-On / Shani Barber-Ivgi Shoshanna Givon / Sivan Grosz / Ilan Dotan / Nurit Witkon Michael Yagudin / Ori Nir / Ronny Someck / Yonat Cintra / Chava Polivoda Meirav Cozac / Hagit kazinitz / Fabio RosenthalKahn / rez Solo Rimon.

    Curator: Esh-Binimov