Art for eternity | Monumental spheres of light for the world’s largest underground cemetery in Jerusalem

Submitted by Yvelle Gabriel

19+

Client: The Jerusalem Jewish Community Burial Society

Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Artist

Yvelle Gabriel

Gabriel.international

Glassworks, USA

Mark Feldmeier

Paul Wissmach Glass, USA

Client, Israel

Chananya Shachor

Kehillat Yerushalayim

Project Manager, Israel

Gilles Florent

Studio Florent

Metalworks, Israel

Kobi

Tehila Metal Works Ltd.

Overview

Lightspheres of Jerusalem | Deep underground, huge catacombs with unique gigantic cave systems are currently being created in Jerusalem’s largest cemetery Har Hamenuchot – the Israeli “Mount of Those who are Resting”. The first tunnel sections of the $70 million construction project, with initially 22,500 graves, extend as far as one kilometer into the Jerusalem limestone. From winter 2019 onward, the first multi-dimensional, futuristic spheres of light made by the German artist Yvelle Gabriel are hanging in all the decisive axial perspectives of the new underground cemetery.

Goals

In 2018, the largest Israeli burial society "Jerusalem Jewish Community Burial Society" commissioned the German-born, international artist Gabriel with the artistic conception of ten sacred-monumental art objects. Gabriel's previous work - artistic direction and successful implementation of his art concepts for the new holy Sheba Synagogue in the largest Middle East clinic of the Holy Land and his longstanding attempts to form a bridge as an artist between Germany and Israel – was an especially crucial aspect for this very special decision.

Process

The Israeli metal company Tehila Metal Works Ltd. in Lod/Israel was commissioned to make the highly complex aluminium structures, while the international Florent Studio in Ramla, Israel, was responsible for project management and the assembly of all artistic light sculptures. Gabriel acquired the artistic glass during an extensive trip to the USA in October 2018 in the American glassworks “Wissmach Glas” in West Virginia. The almost 120 year old traditional company convinced the artist with its unique cathedral glass line “Mystical” as well as its elaborately handcrafted Streaky glass. This was exclusively produced under Gabriels` color scheme specifications and shipped by sea to Israel. The first 5 monumental works of art have been installed now on site in the enormous underground tombs of Jerusalem.

Additional Information

The artistic concept of the spheres of light, is built on the principle on the multi-dimensional development of the Platonic solids. A three-dimensional representation and development of the Dodecahedra, which essentially consists of twelve pentagons. Above all, it is assigned to the fifth element, "ether", which in the numerical mysticism of the Kabbalah, is the quintessence of all four elements. In four-dimensional space, this three-dimensional platonic body corresponds to a four-dimensional 4-polytope - in the form of a 120-cell (Hekatonicosachor). In order to simulate this spatial vision of a higher dimension, Gabriel created two interconnected spheres using light metal and glass to form a mystical overall composition of light and colour, for him, its almost supernatural appearance, symbolically represents the aura and the powerful light of the sun - the torch of eternal life - reaching into and through the dark catacombs. In Judaism, all bodies are precious sheaths of holy souls: they must be kept in a respectable state after their death. Emblematic of eternity. Now Gabriel’s art accompanies the dead, deep underground in the "Holy Halls of Eternal Life“ - in the Holy Land.