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The questionnaire with the artist Orly Alon Margi




The ecological artist with an international name and breathtaking creations, Orli Alon Margi, does everything to save the world but also make it more beautiful. Margie will be a guest with her works at 'Shukaimuth' and you are invited to get to know this wonder Orli Alon Margi, a social entrepreneur and ecological artist, came with her family for a one-year trip to India, after relocation to New York and before returning to Israel, for the race of life, about two months before the devastating tsunami in 2004, following which they decided to stay and volunteer in the area. This year turned into sixteen years and a fascinating and significant family journey, during which she was a partner in establishing WELLPPAER, a project for women's empowerment and recycling and the WELL STUDIO CAFÉ. Alon Margi raised her three children in the experimental, international settlement AUROVILLE in the forest in southern India and returned to Israel three years ago and has been creating and presenting in Israel ever since. Orly creates useful items and art from recycled materials such as paper, fabrics and video tapes.


The artist Orli Alon Margi and her work Photo: Public Relations Tell us a little about the images you chose, where do they come from? How is your image collection process carried out? Since I only work with waste, the process is usually reversed. First comes the collection of the materials and then comes the idea of ​​what can be done with the materials that sometimes wait several years in the studio until the moment of inspiration arrives. Most of my works try to raise awareness of excessive consumption, environmental challenges and social and gender issues. India is a paradise for recycling, everything is colorful and beautiful and many things are reused. Even the rice sacks are spectacularly beautiful, from which I designed bags to be sold in the market. Did you have any testing moments during which you felt that you didn't want to be a painter? Would you go through the same process again? Most of my life I have used art as a tool for expression and therapy for myself and for different populations. It took me many years to define myself as an artist and not as a social worker. In recent years I have put more emphasis on art, I create a lot and exhibit in various exhibitions. I am less concerned with creating products for mass sale and more with expressing myself.


What is the reaction to your works that you remember the most? The last work I did, during my last visit to my home in India, was a large weaving work called "Woven Memories". I left India a few months after the corona outbreak. Everything happened very quickly and I didn't have time to pack properly. For two and a half years, all kinds of people I didn't know lived in the house. When I returned to visit I was amazed to find many things damaged by lack of care and use, the weather conditions and the constant war with creatures in the forest that made many of them unusable. For a month, on a huge iron loom, I wove clothes for myself and the children, dolls, photos and many other personal items that accompanied our fascinating family journey over the years. Work of Orli Alon Margi | Photo: Public Relations What is your first job that you remember best? Dozens of paper birds I made in the first years of being a young mother. It may have been an expression of the great change that the birth of a child brings and the longing for freedom. What is your work routine? I don't really have a work routine. There are times when I work many hours during the day and night as an Amok estate and there are times when I work a few hours a week. Do you listen to music while working? Sometimes I listen to music, many times I enjoy the silence and the chirping of the birds. Bags created by Orly Alon Margi Photo: Public Relations Which other artist would you recommend to see? I recommend going to see Roni Taharlev's exhibition that is currently on display at the Tel Aviv Museum. Roni, my dear friend, is a very talented artist and the exhibition is very moving and powerful, goes deep into the heart. If you could prepare people for an encounter with your works, what would you send them to see/read first? I guess I would send them to India to see the colors and experience the tastes and smells. Many of my works have a strong connection to my beloved India. And also to the beach early in the morning, the place I like to be the most, just before the beach is cleaned. To see the amount of trash and plastic that people leave on the beach and to raise awareness of the marine pollution that man creates. What is the exhibition/project you did that you are most proud of? WELLPAPER is the project I am most proud of. The main goals are empowering women and raising awareness of the need for recycling and upcycling. We arrived in India and lived by the sea for about two months before the great tsunami. After the tsunami, many parties came and gave money or things to the victims, we wanted to give tools and skills to generate income from cheap materials and without the need for equipment or the use of polluting energy. Four groups of women learned to create products from newspapers, bottles, seeds and more. The process of studying and developing the products is done with the women, they are partners in the decisions and management and there is no employee-employer relationship. About two years after the establishment, I was looking for a studio where we could create unique products from the products that did not come out perfect during the learning process and could not be sent to the customer. We got a magical place in the forest and set up a small cafe there, WELL CAFÉ, with a studio on the top floor and vegetarian and vegan Mediterranean food served in the garden. And all, of course, conducted by local women. Little by little the place became a community center for art and culture where live performances, exhibitions, Work of Orli Alon Margi | Photo: Public Relations And what happened to him? The place closed, very sadly, in September 2020 when India announced a complete lockdown. I left all the equipment in the place as a gift to the community, hoping that someone else would open the place. Indeed, there was one attempt to open an Indian restaurant that failed. Recently, almost three years later, the place was opened with great excitement by Suda, who worked with me for almost 13 years and her children, who were also involved in the process. magnificent. How do you feel when you look at your old works? When I returned to Israel, I opened boxes packed a little more than twenty years ago, when we left for relocation in the United States, which contained my old works. I feel that I have progressed and become wiser, I have been exposed to many new materials and work techniques, I have had amazing collaborations with people from all over the world and especially with the local women and various artisans and maybe it sounds immodest but I have had the privilege of influencing and changing the way of thinking and behavior of many people. It's pride and you earned it honestly. Which living or dead artist would you like to learn from? I have almost no knowledge of art and have never studied at a formal art institution. From early childhood I just love to see art and create and every material is a potential. I would be interested in studying with local artists in remote and exotic places who use waste materials. A bag by Orly Alon Margi Photo: Public Relations 'Shukaimuth', which brings together creators, lecturers, designers and entrepreneurs, will be held on Wednesday, September 6 and will be the first of a series of events that will be held at the Dizengoff Center alongside 'Vegan Wednesday'. Also, the timing of the opening of 'Shokaimoth' comes right before the holidays, and this is an opportunity to buy your loved ones a perfect gift - which is both the record of gratitude and with an important message.

Author: Norma

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