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The Shadow of Jerusalem

This exhibition is supported by the

Israeli Ministry of  Foreign Affairs

 

Producer and Curator Ellina Kwitkovsky

KWITKOWSKY  ART

 

Leonid Padrul, Art Photographer (EFIAP) of the Federation of International Art Photography (FIAP)  at UNESCO. Born in the Ukraine Leonid Padrul lives and works in Israel since 1994. He is the Head of the Photographic Department at the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv. He also is member of the Tel Aviv Journalists Association. Leonid Padruls main interest is photographing the Dead Sea.

 

Photo-expeditions:

1978 1984 Expeditions to Tien Shan, Pamir and Caucasus Mountains

2002 Expedition at the Qumran caves as part of the National Geographic Project

1999 2007 Expeditions to the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea area

 

List of Exhibitions:

2013

The Bible Center, Vienna, Austria

Bremen City Library, Germany. Patron: the Israeli Ambassador, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman

Beijing's Kempinski Hotel, China.  Patron: the Israeli Ambassador, Matan Vilnai.  The exhibition was a part of a reception to celebrate
the 65th anniversary of the nation's independence.

 

2012

Wellington Jewish Community Centre, New Zealand

 

2011

Exhibition at an economic forum in Harbin, China

Exhibition at the Sydney Childrens Hospital, Randwick, Australia Exhibition at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra, Australia

 

2010

The Exhibition at the Belarus National Museum of History, Minsk, Belarus.

The Exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam.

 

2009

A part of the exhibition was presented in Copenhagen, supported by the Embassy of Israel in Denmark..

The exhibition was presented at the "Metropolitan Museum", Manila, supported by the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines.

 

2008

The exhibition was presented at the "National Gallery of Bangkok", supported by the Embassy of Israel in Thailand, during the  60th anniversary of the state of Israel.

 

2007

Exhibition at the Photo Union Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Exhibitions in the Knesset of Israel and in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs , Jerusalem

 

 

T H E   S H A D O W   O F   J E R U S A L E M

Biblical landscapes in the work of photographer Leonid Padrul

 

Leonid Padrul, Art Photographer (EFIAP) of the Federation of International Art Photography (FIAP) at UNESCO, resides and works in Israel since 1994. He arrived from the Ukraine as an already recognized and mature master of art photography, prizewinner of dozens of international exhibitions and photo salons in Russia and abroad. In Israel Padruls talent blossoms. His works are annually displayed at art exhibitions. Leonid is the Head of the Photographic Department of the Eretz Israel Museum, the archeological museum in Tel Aviv. He contributes to National Geographic Magazine and is a member of the Tel Aviv Journalists Association. Lately Padrul has been teaching: he leads master-classes, exploring the natural and ancient architectural scenery of the ancient cities of Jaffa, Akko, Caesarea, Jerusalem and in the Judean desert.

Especially important for the masters development became his participation as photographer in an archeological expedition in the Qumran caves organized by the National Geographic Magazine in 2002. During this expedition, as Padrul admitted later, he got really fascinated by the Dead Sea area, the most interesting but also the most complicated object for art photography. Padruls ensuing trips to the area, resulted in a proliferation of high quality photos. Among Israeli artists Leonid Padrul is reputed as an unsurpassed master of extremely complicated landscapes. Photos from the series Landscapes of the Dead Sea have been published in all major photo magazines of Israel, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine, and in the National Geographic. Renowned documentary film director Roni Sofer shot a film about the photographer and his project for Nature TV-channel.

From an early age he took a special interest in landscape photography, one of the most complex genres in this technique. His passion strengthened as he participated in arduous mountaineering tours to Pamir and Tien Shan, never parting with a camera even during the hardest climbing ventures. Israel, with its millennia-old and rich history, opened for Padrul new venues of creativity, and rendered his art more penetrating and more sophisticated. Padruls passion for the high mountain subjects attained a new élan in Israel, and was transformed in the course of time to high spiritual subjects, his works becoming philosophical statements. Through alternation and comparison of images of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea vicinity, Padrul in metaphorical and allegorical form expresses such contrasts as elevated versus ordinary, light versus shadow.

In the Bible Jerusalem is always associated with light. The Prophet Isaiah says: The Gentiles shall come to Thy light, and kings to the brightness of Thy rising. (Isaiah LX, 3.) Heavenly Jerusalem is connected with such motives as the Messiahs advent, the restoration of Solomons Temple and clearing of the Golden Gate. Israelis say to go up to Jerusalem, which means not only the citys mountain location but also ascension as a spiritual journey.

Conversely, the Dead Sea which in antiquity was named the Sodom and Asphalt Sea as well as the Sea of Lot, is located in a deep depression about 400 meters below sea level, the lowest place on Earth. Historically, its coast accommodated Sodom and Gomorrah, the Biblical cities which have become universal symbols of evil, vice, moral decline and divine punishment. In Kabbala writings the area of the Dead Sea is named The Shadow of Jerusalem. Padruls individuality as philosopher and observer is best demonstrated in epic-monumental photos of majestic natural landscapes reminiscent of photographs of space. Landscape pictures showing the deserted hills once bearing Sodom and Gomorrah, Jericho, Masada fortress, the semi-destroyed palaces of Herod the Great and barely accessible Qumran caves, kindle the imagination and refer to historical memory.

The area of the Dead Sea is at the same time a place which for centuries has attracted Christian pilgrims. Here flows the Jordan River, here stands the Temptation Mountain on which, according to the legend, Jesus prayed for forty days, tempted by Satan.

As Padrul himself admits, he was fascinated by the Dead Sea area not only because of its legendary history, but also due to the extraordinary technical and artistic challenges it offers. First, it features unusual illumination, completely new to the artist. The blinding sun and sharp contrasts of light create spontaneous and successive varying effects of complex bright colors and soft dispersed pastel shades. On some photos light and space dominate, on others, the accent is on the primordial essence of the mountains and heavy desert sands or on intricate supernatural patterns created by the Dead Sea salt crystals. One can say symbolically that realization of the most complicated project Landscapes of the Dead Sea became one more mountain top conquered by photographer Leonid Padrul.

 

 

 

 

 

Bremen City Library, Germany, 2013
Patron: the Israeli Ambassador, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman

 

Exhibition at the Belarus National Museum of

History, Minsk, Belarus, 2010

 

Exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2010

 

Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009

 

Economic Forum from Israel and Harbin, 2011

 

 

Manila, Philippines, 2009

 

 

Exhibition at the National Gallery,

Bangkok, Thailand, 2008

 

Exhibition at the National Gallery,

Bangkok, Thailand, 2008

 

Exhibition at the National Gallery,

Bangkok, Thailand, 2008

 

Exhibition at the Photo Union Gallery,

Moscow, Russia, 2007

 

Exhibition at the Photo Union Gallery,

Moscow, Russia, 2007

 

 

 
   
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The Shadow of Jerusalem      Photography Exhibition by Leonid Padrul      Producer and Curator Ellina Kwitkovsky

              

 
 

 
 

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