ABOUT THE SHOW Waterfall is an international collaboration between three artists, Pirjo
Heino (Finland), Karmela Berg (Israel), and Ellen Schön (United States).
The artists met through the Transcultural Tile Exchange project in 2004.
Their collaboration--an exhibit, installation, and performance--explores
the theme of water as a metaphor for life. Water is seen as transformative
and healing, as well as a tangible resource which needs to be protected.
The title, Waterfall conveys both the idea of abundant water AND water at
Waterfall is part of the TransCultural Exchange's world-wide Project
entitled Here, There and Everywhere: Anticipating the Art of the Future.
The exhibit will then travel to Art Gallery Ripustus in Hämeenlinna, Finland from June 2-28,
2009, and then to Tel Aviv, Israel (venue TBA).
The project has several components with each artist contributing to the
others’ ideas. As part of the installation, local and international artists were asked
through a Mail Art Call to donate their interpretive snapshots of water.
All proceeds of the sale of these prints will benefit WaterAid, an international
non-governmental organization whose mission is to overcome poverty by
enabling the world’s poorest people to gain access to safe water,
sanitation and hygiene education. To date over 80 artists from 15 countries
have donated their work.
In addition, Waterfall includes:
• Three floor-to-ceiling silk panels, representing our different
conceptions of waterfalls.
• An installation/ performance of upside down empty cups in the form of a
water droplet, evoking water as the source of life, whose absence we cannot
endure. Everyone entering the gallery can participate by adding a cup to
• A film by Karmela Berg, with sculptor, Avi Sperber, and artist and
therapist, Aliza Gilboa, documenting their environmental art about water as
a scarce resource in Israel.
The TransCultural Exchange project is designed to encourage artists to work
collaboratively, culminating in a series of international exhibitions, a
catalog, and a panel discussion at the International Opportunities in the
Arts conference in April 2009. The Waterfall artists appreciate this
opportunity to forge a personally and socially meaningful collaboration
from their different backgrounds, cultures, and disciplines.
ARTISTS Pirjo Heino; Hämeenlinna, Finland
Pirkitta Hyvönen; Finland
Pirkko-Liisa Kilpi; Hämeenlinna, Finland
Eeva-Maija Maula; Alvettula, Finland
Sirpa Ojala; Finland
Jasu Salmi; Janakkala, Finland
Hannela Tarna; Turenki, Finland
Paul Tiilila; Pälkäne, Finland
Mika Toivonen; Helsinki, Finland
Tiina Torkkeli; Finland
Tarja Trygg; Helsinki, Finland
Eira Viertoma; Finland
Monika Fulda; Freiburg, Germany
Gabriele Fecher; Weimar, Germany
Simone Ramshorn; Germany
Karola Teschler; Velbert, Germany
Josef Hasenöhrl; Pat, Hungary
Geetha Kekobad; India
Renuka Kesaramadu; Tumkur, Kornataka, India
Karmela Berg; Tel Aviv, Israel
Aliza Gilboa; Israel
Gilit Metuki, Israel
Avi Sperber; Haifa, Israel
Elisheva Zizner; Israel
Anna Finetti; Milano, Italy
Laura Cristin; Bagnaria Arsa, Italy
Dario Della Rossa; Italy
Gretel Fehr; Italy
Elena Mastracci; L'Aquila, Italy
Marco Maffeo; Italy
Veronica Menni; Itlay
Emilio Morandi; Italy
Andrea Peezzini; Italy
Antonio Sassu (Gruppo Sinestetico); Italy
Celine Spelta; Milan, Italy
Andrea Taglier; Italy
Jovan Balov; Ohrid, Macedonia
Lukasz Cywicki; Poland
Magdelena Cywicka; Poland
Stephan Balog; Aiud, Romania
Zoltan Balog; Aiud, Romania
Maria Cristina Onet; Hunedoara, Romania
Cristina Senesan; Aiud, Romania
Daniela Julieta Stanoiu; Aiud, Romania
Veruna Melcak Junek; Slovakia
Abel Paredeo; Spain
Eva Johansson; Sweden
Séverine Cuénod; Caroug-GE, Switzerland
Asko Myllys; Grub AR, Switzerland
Safa Büte; Turkey
Helaine Alon; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA
Nancy Andell; Chatham, NY, USA
Elnur Babayev; Bethesday, MD, USA
Susan Berstler; Somerville, MA, USA
Kelvy Bird; Arlington, MA, USA
Mary Jo Bohart; Somerville, MA, USA
Jessica Brennan; Somerville, MA, USA
Abbi Canney; Needham, MA, USA
Jingni Chen; Somerville, MA, USA
Ashlee Childers; Somerville, MA, USA
Jane Cohen; Somerville, MA, USA
Charles Daniels; Somerville, MA, USA
Denise Dumas; Wilton, New Hampshire, USA
Michelle Fiorenza; Somerville, MA, USA
Alice Grossman; Somerville, MA, USA
Terranova Kallemeyn; Allston, MA., USA
Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord; Newburyport, MA, USA
Kathleen A. Kneeland; Boston, MA, USA
Judith Motzkin; Cambridge, MA, USA
Karl Nussbaum; Brooklyn, New York, USA
Jaye R. Phillips; Arlington, MA, USA
Susan Rice; Medford, MA, USA
Sadie Richards; Jamaica Plain, MA, USA
Anne Russell; Somerville, MA, USA
Ellen Schön; Waban, MA, USA
Tamal Sen; Somerville, MA, USA
Tova Speter; Cambridge, MA, USA
Heather Meri Stewart; Somerville, MA, USA
Julia Stratton; Philadelphia, PA, USA
V Van Sant; Somerville, MA, USA
Kathy Van Torne; Austin, TX, USA
Water - the source of life - so scarce in our land, touches every aspect of our life in Israel. The shortage of water is becoming a matter of life and death in the region. I started my film in the north of the country, in the region of Beit Shean: a region rich with springs, rivers and reservoirs. Because of this, the Bible refers to this area as "the gate of Eden." As I traveled south, from the lushness of the Galilee to the arid salt plain of the Dead Sea, I saw how the diminishing of water affects people and nature. During the different stops of this journey, I placed environmental installations, each time showing the state and the changes of nature. Additional photography, art works and sculptures were contributed to the film by artists Avi Sperber and Aliza Gilboa.
"Vesi vanhin voitehista" is an old Finnish saying from mythic Kalevala- a legend that is telling about the past of Finns. It means that the water is the most important, old and well known cream and balsam. It tells how much we appreciate the clean water to drink and to wash. When the water is clean, and we use it enough. it's protecting our physical and mental health. But also helping when we are ill.
In the north and cold areas the life was hard but people created one excellent pleasure: Finnish sauna. It's a deeply purifying experience to sit in hot steam, get the skin soft and mind relaxed, and swim in a lake.
In Finland we don't have high mountains and no high waterfalls either. I imagine my falling water like a great blessing that is falling down on me: So much silky water with some bubbles of joy. and I can take. as much as I need.
Culturally, each artist in our exhibit has had a different experience of water. Here, in New England, some of my first memories of water were as a young child, hanging onto my father’s back as he swam under the waves, surfacing like a whale in the bracing cold ocean. The smell and sounds of ocean and the seashore have always given me a sense of deep peace.
In the last several years, I have turned my attention to water as an artistic theme. Working primarily in clay, I have always been interested in the ability of a ceramic vessel to point to something beyond itself—to function as metaphor. When I was asked to design a ceramic fountain at a private residence, I began thinking about the ways vessels can hold water and what those shapes might evoke. Subsequently, I developed my Font series, using ceramic bowls of water as metaphors of consciousness--mirrors of the soul, implying possible rebirth of self, and as actual reflections of our corporeal selves. More recently, I have been working on the idea of wells as wombs, with possibilities of both fecundity and barrenness.
However, since I have been an object-maker most of my artistic life, I wanted to use this show as an opportunity to explore working with installation. In this instance, ceramic vessels did not fit the concept--ready-made clear plastic cups more readily suggest drinking water. The amassing of upside-down empty plastic cups, in the form of water droplets and shoreline, are meant to evoke water as the source of life, whose absence we cannot endure. We invite those entering the gallery to participate by adding a cup to the installation. I find it appealing that the shape of the “water” shoreline will change with the ebb and flow of people in the gallery.