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A Danish eye on Israel and an Israeli eye on Denmark

 

In the summer of 2010, an idea emerged during an Israeli-Danish meeting: to combine photographic images of both countries in the same show; to give the taste of both places at once. Two well-known photographers were invited: Pamela Juhl from Denmark and Leonid Padrul from Israel. They exchanged visits, and so a series of images was born.

 

When people talk about Denmark, they usually think of the Little Mermaid, the popular Hans Christian Andersen character, or Prince Hamlet and the ghost of his father, wandering by Shakespeares will in the castle of Kronborg.

 

When mentioning Israel, Danes who have worked on a kibbutz imagine camels, deserts and oranges, while others have in mind the Wailing Wall, the preserved western part of the Second Temple in Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Romans in the late 1st century AD.

 

It is well known that a fresh look can capture details of daily life, of nature and of human characteristics of other cultures, in the sharpest way. Thats why both photographers, having seen each other's countries for the first time, have been able to convey the characteristic spirits of Israel and Denmark so ingenuously and expressively. They were not attracted by tourist facilities but rather by Danes and Israelis in their everyday lives.

 

Among Juhls and Padruls heroes are such figures as a fisherman casting his net in the North Sea; an artist painting landscapes on the shores of Jaffa, the most ancient port in the world; Orthodox Jews praying at the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives; a bride near the old Copenhagen City Hall; an Israeli soldier and a Danish royal guard.

 

Pamela Juhl, master of reportage photography, readily plunged into the turbulent torrent of Israeli life, pierced by the baking sun, so that even the shadows appear white. Her photographs captured the contrast between ancient Jerusalem and ultramodern Tel Aviv, its skyscrapers windows gleaming and washed by the warm waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Within an hour's drive from Jerusalem stretches the Judean Desert. Its Qumran Caves still keep their secrets. The land of Israel retains vestiges of previous millennia. From an ancient mosaic strewn by sand, a man looks out at us as if echoing Ecclesiastes: "Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.

 

Leonid Padrul, also a master of art photography, was fascinated by the measured pace of life in the Kingdom of Denmark, and has reflected this in his photographs. He depicted landscapes of the northern land shrouded in storm clouds, the lush verdure, churches and castles, the breathtaking panorama of the "Harbor of Merchants" - Copenhagen. Thanks to the photographer, you find yourself in a world made familiar by the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, a world wherein still echoes the era of giants, of Viking conquests and exploits of the Danish kings, a world where people today live harmoniously and unhurriedly.

 

Once again, wise words from the book of Ecclesiastes come to mind: "So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Israel and Denmark, their commonalities and differences shown at Pamela Juhl and Leonid Padrul exhibition, merge into a multicolored mosaic named "Life."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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