Emma Buggy—the artist with her work in the background
November 21, 2010/ 14 Kislev, 5771
Deep beneath the sea sits Jerusalem of Gold, a treasure enjoying the abundant rays that reach it from the heavens and adorned with kabbalistic symbols like fish and roses surrounding the houses that dwell among the spiral snail shells, seashells, and fish with human, even Jewish faces. This mural was created by British-Jewish artist Emma Buggy (25) together with Ukrainian-Jewish artist Victoria Maisel on a gigantic container that is situated at the back of the Jewish Agency Ulpan Etzion - Beit Canada Absorption Center in East Talpiot.
“I didn’t paint anything for two or three years, and I thought that I couldn’t produce anymore. When I got to Jerusalem, right after making aliyah from Australia, I was inundated with waves of creativity. Jerusalem did it to me. So I started painting this giant mural on the container.
Emma Buggy is an artist, a graduate of the Wimbledon College or Art, outside London. She has won wide acclaim as a sculptress throughout England, for works that garnered wide attention due to her primary choice of artistic objects. Then, three years ago, she moved to Australia, where she stopped creating art. “When I got to Jerusalem, it all came back, like magic,” she says, “and I have not stopped producing here.”
The mural with cypress trees in the background
Her primary mode of expression is sculpture, but she made her mark on this work: dramatic art, including character parodies with human faces. Seahorses and other fish obtained human faces. Sea snails rest above Moroccan-style houses (“My mother is a Moroccan Jew who met my Irish father in London and always wanted to come here,” she explains). Next to the massive portrait stand Spanish-style houses, a sort of Mediterranean shtetl. Everything is connected to the large mural, characterized by its Jerusalem scene, but with one difference: Emma Buggy’s Jerusalem is underwater. The unique fish that swim around the upper part of the mural were created by Emma’s ulpan classmate, Victoria Maisel, also an artist.
One who looks intently at the large work of art painted on a container in the backyard of the Ulpan Etzion - Beit Canada Absorption Center in East Talpiot will see a dramatic, funny work. But a deeper look reveals its serious side, the symbols implanted in it: the fish, harbingers of good fortune; the rays of Divine light that bathe Jerusalem; and the rose, a key symbol of Lurianic kabbalah.
The woman responsible for this work of art, which contains many smaller works within it, is, of course, Emma, assisted by Victoria and by Lior, who helped with the background. But is also seems that the atmosphere here in Jerusalem had a hand in this masterpiece: behind the ulpan, where students usually sit and chat, facing a giant container, peers a giant, happy work of art, full of vitality.