I. MY FATHER’S BOOK
Yuvi was born and raised at Kibbutz Ginosar on the seashores of the Kinneret along with his four brothers. I recently had the privilege of hearing about a few of their youthful escapades as kibbutzniks and fishermen.
Yuvi is a ‘rock artist’, but not the ‘rock ‘n roll’ kind. His work is out of real stone found in the area. A particular carved stone of his is only one that makes up the Peace Arch as you enter the hotel at Nof Ginosar. He refers to it as ‘the Family Book’. This is one of the stories he related to me:
My father and mother grew up on Kibbutz Ginosar. When they married, a woman gave my mother a pair of white doves which represented their marriage. Everything about our family life is written in the book. (SCULPTED INTO THE STONE: Two doves are engraved into the stone at the top. A book is open and a man and woman are kneeling within it. The photo is of the practice run before the finished product.)
It was very important to my grandfather that everyone spoke Hebrew. Seventy or eighty years ago people did not speak Hebrew in Israel. Jewish immigrants came from Germany, Romania and other places in Europe mostly. They brought books with them in their native tongue or yiddish, so my grandfather wrote a book in Hebrew. He gave it to the people to learn Hebrew so eventually they could communicate in Hebrew.
But when he met with the people, they told him, “We have no money for bread! Why are you bringing us a book?” So he said: “Okay, the book stays here and I will return in two months so we can talk in Hebrew.” Gradually, the people learned Hebrew and slowly more and more people talked together in Hebrew.
This is the story in my grandfather’s book, and that’s why its engraved in the stone of my parents’ lives and is one of the foundation stones in the Peace Arch.
II. MY BROTHER BENI
Yuvi introduces me to his brother Beni who is driving a tractor and playing a harmonica.
Beni is my older brother and he is in charge of everything on the Kibbutz. He takes his harmonica with him all the time to play music. He just came from playing music for the children, and he likes to make people happy.
We like to dance Israeli dances on the Kibbutz and Beni used to play all the different musical instruments at the dances before tapes and CDs came along.
There is an antique tractor displayed on the Kibbutz but the one Beni gets around with on his daily rounds is even more antique.
III. ROCK ARTIST APPRENTICE
ESTI is from Poriya and she is learning to sculpture the rock.
I come every day. I just cannot stop. I told my child I can work here 7-9 hours a day and I don’t feel tired. I don’t need to eat; I don’t want anything. Every night I just wait for the morning to come.I have the freedom to do everything that I want whether I fail or succeed it doesn’t matter.
Right now I want to make many butterflies. At first, when I started to make a butterfly, it becomes something else. But that’s what is so magic about the stone. You think you want something and suddenly in the middle the stone tells you a story and it becomes what’s inside.
If someone were to ask me if I’m a ‘stone cutter’, I would say ‘no’ because I’m a writer and artist. I also create from ceramic. And now I can’t leave the stone alone.
IV. ROCK ART AT KIBBUTZ GINOSAR
As a rock artist Yuvi wants to leave behind a legacy of his civilization so that in another 2000 years archeologists will be finding rocks that endured the difficulties and traumas of years between now and then.
He believes there is a story within the rock and when it is handled with care, the rock will reveal its hidden identity. The artist may start out with one idea in mind, but the end product will be something totally different. Every sculpture of Yuvi’s has its own unique personality, and usually has a little humor in its character.