From the Beginning

From the Beginning


 INTRODUCTION  |  PAGE  1  |  PAGE  2  |  PAGE  3
  Photography Exhibition by Shai Ginott

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me saying: 'Jeremiah, what seest thou?'...
(Jeremiah 1:11)

The encounter with nature is a complex experience. It is a deep multi-layered experience, like leafing through the pages of history, alternating between the world of reality and an imaginary world, between what has occurred in the past and what will happen in the future. The power of nature light, earth, water, heaven and the world of flora and fauna - is described dramatically in the Biblical story of the creation. "Then God said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." (Genesis 1:6). The preservation of nature appears in the interaction between man and nature and his existence as an integral part of it. "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it." (Genesis 2:15). The beauty of nature and the wisdom of creation are expressed in Psalms and in the words of the Prophets "...I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." (Isaiah 41:18)

The chronicles of generations of man, until the consolidation of the people of Israel and its settlement in the Land, record a series of encounters with nature: the flood, the pillar of the cloud, the wanderings in the desert. "... The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go." (Nehemiah 9:19) And in the end of days the patterns of the world will change. "... The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it." (Amos 9:13)

Reading the Bible is like a journey. It is a journey of personal acquaintance with the Land, with its landscapes and its ancient and new sites, with the history of ages past and of recent times and archeological remains serving as our milestones. All the photographs shown have been taken in Israel, the Negev desert, the Mediterranean coast, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, the forests of the Galilee and the snowcapped peak of Mount Hermon; in the hot and dry summer, in the rainy and cold winter, in the seasons of bird migration and in the flowering spring. The photos in this exhibition portray imaginary landscapes; they are composed of two photos superimposed on one another. The photos are taken from the book Reflections, published by MOD, 1999.

Shai Ginott was born in Jerusalem in 1958. A biologist by profession, her career as a fine arts and nature photographer began in 1984 as director of photography of the Israel Nature Reserves Authority. Her photographs have appeared in newspapers, periodicals and books, including the bestseller Echoes of A Landscape (1992, MOD), which won the Gold Prize at the Jerusalem International Book Fair in 1993; A Place in the Heart, Jerusalem (1995, MOD); Israel Das Heilige Land (1995, Bruckmann); Israel (1998, Bruckmann); and Spectacular Israel (1998, Hugh L. Levin Asc.), for which she also served as photoeditor. Shai Ginott teaches in various photography workshops throughout Israel. Her photographs have been displayed in exhibitions in Israel and abroad, among them the Barbican Centre in London and the Olympus Gallery in Tokyo.

This exhibition was produced by the Public Affairs Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel 1999.

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