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Rooted in Israel – Past, Present, Future

If you are in Jerusalem or planning to be in the next few weeks, a “must see” is the art show “Rooted In Israel – Past, Present, Future” at the Jerusalem Theatre by an extremely talented Messianic Jewish couple, who are recent immigrants from the Netherlands.

Marc and Henny both developed their art forms individually and came together later in life with families of their own and a wealth of artistic expression that enhanced and inspired each other.

Marc de Klijn, born in Holland in 1939, escaped the war with foster parents to later be reunited with his parents, accomplished classical musicians. He began his career in graphic design, for graphic studios and advertising firms. After over a decade as a freelance designer, he moved towards his passion for painting, beginning with landscape watercolors in the early 1970’s. He later studied to become an art teacher, taught for 20 years while continuing developing his “voice” as an artist with numerous shows in Holland, Germany and Belgium.

One of Marc's paintings -  "It Happened Here"
One of Marc’s paintings – “It Happened Here”

Henny van Hartingsveldt, also a native of the Netherlands began her forays into the art world as a ceramist with a focus on pottery. Under the tutelage of a well-known potter she gained her confidence and in 1969 she opened her own shop with her works for sale. While working and raising a family, Henny also managed in 1985 to professionally study ceramic sculpture, this time exploring larger, bolder more abstract forms.

One of Henny's sculptures with Marc's paintings in the background
One of Henny’s sculptures with Marc’s paintings in the background

In 1989 the two artists came together, marrying two years later and then taking a huge leap that would deeply affect both of their work – making Aliyah in 2013.

Many of the pieces in the current show at the Jerusalem Theatre, are from 2014 and reflect the impact living in Israel, following a Jewish calendar, observing the holidays along with the the visual and cultural influences that have continued to influence their art.

In Marc’s strong paintings, bold, cubist and abstract, there is a deep sensitivity to his Jewish roots and the effect the Shoah has had on his art. Both he and Henny have made trips back to the concentration camps in Germany and Poland. Henny’s work also expresses her understanding of the deep sanctity of life, even life in the womb and has used her work as a platform such organizations as Be’ad Chaim. Her large standing forms evoke deep scriptural themes such as “watchmen” and “gate keepers.”

The show, opened in mid-November with a huge turnout of support. It is the first joint exhibition for the couple in Israel and will be up until December 10th.

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Jane Bakewell
Jane Bakewell is an Independent Writer who splits her time between her home in the Caribbean and her “adopted” home in Jerusalem. Aside from her travel articles, she focuses on the continuing changing kaleidoscope that is Israel, her love and passion.

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