EMBASSY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL
MUSEUM OF CHRISTIAN ART
A LASTING FAITH: ORTHODOXY IN THE HOLY LAND
Photographic project by Dafna Tal
22 November – 22 December 2016
Opening on Tuesday, 22 November, at 18:00
with the artist in attendance
The Crypt of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Christianity, born in the Holy Land—the cradle of the monotheistic religions—has maintained a constant presence in these regions since its inception. Twenty centuries later, Dafna Tal was drawn to the idea of conducting a documentary project. Today, churches, monasteries, and ecclesiastical convents of all denominations are still part of the natural landscape of cities, hilltops, and desert regions. The Orthodox Church is a fundamental part of this presence on the sacred lands. Church institutions, the monks, priests, nuns, and pilgrims are an integral part of the human landscape of today’s Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Its unwavering faith and the traditional rituals perpetuate the centuries-old tradition of Orthodoxy.
In a series of exceptional photographs, Dafna Tal captured with utmost precision, not only the faces of the members of the Orthodox communities, but also, through her deep understanding of the essence of Orthodoxy, the spirit of these secluded places inaccessible to the general public. In the process of her work, she managed to win the trust of the Orthodox Patriarchate, receiving unprecedented acceptance by all communities, churches and holy cloisters, which allowed her to penetrate their sacred and secret world, not only visually, but also emotionally.
A virtuoso of lighting and composition, Dafna Tal succeeded in capturing in her photographs the quintessence of the beauty behind the two-thousand-year old tradition, and its splendour, in inspiring images that convey the depth of the Orthodox faith and emotion.
With her exhibition, Dafna Tal sheds a new, contemporary light on the largely inaccessible world of Orthodoxy. Her photographs not only open a window on this world, but also pay tribute to the strength of the lasting faith of Orthodoxy in its natural environment: Jerusalem and the Holy Land—the eternal home of Christianity where all began.
Dafna Tal was born in Israel. She lives and works in Jerusalem as a professional photographer specialising in artistic and documentary projects. Her project, ‘A Lasting Faith: Orthodoxy in the Holy Land’, was conducted between 2013 and 2015 as a result of the close cooperation of the artist with the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches.
The exhibition will be opened by HE Ms Irit Lilian, Ambassador of the State of Israel in Sofia, and Ms Slava Ivanova, Director of the National Gallery.
For further information:
02 9033 507