Want to break up your day with some arts and culture and maybe a cheeky glass of vino? The Jewish Museum of Australia is jumping on the late-night bandwagon and inviting all night owls to check out the Aleph Bet exhibition, open from 6pm until 10pm on Tuesday 17, free with general museum admission. Mingle with artist Marc Lopez Bernal after hours among his beautiful, large-scale paintings of Hebrew alphabet characters...
In Jewish folklore, the Golem is a powerful creature made of clay to protect its people. It is animated by carving the word Emet or “truth” into its forehead – but removing one letter turns truth into met or “death” and the Golem becomes lifeless. If one letter can hold that much power, imagine what a whole book would hold. The Hebrew Alphabet represents centuries of history, evolution and political change in Jewish culture – and now the Jewish Museum is offering the chance to learn about it in new ways.
The Jewish Museum presents two exhibitions under one roof, exploring the cultural significance of the Hebrew alphabet through art. The first exhibit features works by Marc Lopez Bernal, a graduate from the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The artist reconnects with his own Jewish roots by taking a journey through the Kabbalistic origins of the Hebrew alphabet. “The artworks show the letters at work by breathing life into them,” Bernal says. “In enhancing my understanding of the spiritual and the metaphysical meanings behind the Hebrew alphabet I have deepened my personal understanding. I hope audiences have a similar experience.”
The second exhibition Aleph Bet: playing with the Hebrew alphabet includes fifty objects, each relating to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Curator Jessica Rynderman says “children are encouraged to explore the letters of the aleph bet – their sounds, shapes and the similarities and differences they have to English.” Objects include a gypsy doll from former concentration camp in Germany, a traditional piece of embroidery and a 19th century model of Noah’s Ark.
“We are excited to create an opportunity for children and adults to playfully engage together with the Hebrew language,” says Rynderman, “whether they speak it or not.”