Review on Orly’s installation by Corinne


PASSION 54
An art installation by Orly
At the Archive Building 1st Flr
December 16 – 23

Straight out of a women and sisterhood story, Orly’s carpet (Passion 54) speaks about the greatest secret of all times: “It is only with heart that one can see rightly”.

Orly’s life has revolved around recycled art and social work. At the age of 14, she began to sew dolls and, 10 years later, in her hometown of Herzlia (Israel), she combined both these loves into art therapy for mentally challenged children and their families. At the same time, she started art workshops and after school programs for kindergarten teachers. In 1992, she won a prize for opening the first social club for mentally challenged children.

In the same spirit of recycled art and social work, she and her husband created Well Paper when they moved to Auroville. The aim was to teach women living in villages in the bioregion the technique of papier mâché as well as the knowledge to run a small business. Well Paper started with 5 women and now has 100. This project succeeded in its objectives of empowering women, creating local livelihood, recycling waste and creating beautiful art.

In addition to this, Orly started making enormous fantasy birds out of papier mâché, which looked like they had stepped out of an animation film.

The last two years have been a significant in her creative journey. This carpet, Passion 54, began as a healing project when, at the age of 54, Orly decided to make her heart whole again. Art is just like love, it requires vision and persistence, and this carpet speaks about the power to create something beautiful through patient trials and errors.

Orly went to thrift stores in South India to collect old, worn saris, tore them into long threads and, with passion, re-assembled them into a beautiful art piece…a carpet made of 54 circles.

Much more than a carpet made of saris, this piece narrates the stories and life of hundreds of Indian women. Some saris are immaculate, some stained with blood, food and sweat, some brand new, looking royal. The most touching one for Orly was carefully held together with a line of stitching and was so thin that it looked like it had been worn for one hundred years.

Each art piece has a story, especially in recycled art, and in this healing project it seems that when the body dies, the story does not, and when the heart breaks, it is rebuilt again.

Looking at those 54 round circles, close your eyes for one minute, get on Orly’s magical carpet made of colourful, passionate floating saris and fly to the land of 1001 tales of beautiful Indian women.

Chana Corinne for AVArtS