And There Was Light

And There Was Light

Scents of Peace   1997-98

Scents of Peace   1997-98


And There Was Light

spice-book

"And There Was Light" is seven hinged page folding metal book that holds a spice box or besamin.
In this contemporary Judaica, each panel or page symbolically represents a day of creation. One side is the biblical narrative. The other side represents man's creations that parallel the biblical myth.
Many of the pages were constructed using spice tins. The materials are a metaphor for the concept of a spice box, and the spirit of tzedakah.

SpiceBook7DayCreation

 

Every culture holds some legend for the origins of the earth and humanity.
The biblical narrative of Genesis provides a powerful poetic drama with six days of work and a seventh day for rest and reflection.  
On this side, the pages illustrate the biblical narrative progressing through the six days of creation to the seventh and final day of rest. 

SpiceBook7DayManCreation.jpg


In the eons since then, humankind has achieved significant advances: 

defining the relationships of the moon, sun, and stars as the passage of time, exploring the world in the search for spices, and acknowledging that the multitude of races and religions of the world hold more similarities than differences.

For each page, the biblical event on one side relates to the secular theme on the other side. Each page illustrates an analogous theme of secular achievements and creation by mankind- from enlightenment and logic to the scientific and engineering feats of humanity. 

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The final page, the day of rest, has a doorway-like niche within which the Besamin Spice Box rests. The Spice Box container is modeled after a contemporary door, inspired by historical Spice Boxes that mimicked the architecture of their time. The curtain on the reverse side of the Spice Box is pierced to allow the scent of the spice to permeate the air. As a portal between the personal inner sanctum of peace and the world beyond, the Spice Box helps us to pause and reflect amidst the rush of modern living.

 

 

"And there was light" is included in 500 Handmade Books and featured on the back cover. It is also included in the book 500 Judaica


Each page of And There was Light

Constructed from recycled tin containers and spice tins, vintage steel dollhouses, 10 k. gold rivets, aluminum rivets, stainless steel screws. 


Each panel:14.25"H x 9"W     Entire book: 14.25"H x 46"W


Interesting final page


spiback2

This is the final page, the day of rest, surrounded by the modern city and skyline.Look at the center closely. The spice box has been removed for this photograph. The Spice box fits in the doorway-like niche. Compare the image above to the photo below.

spiback2

This photo shows the spice box inserted into the center of the page. It represents a portal between the personal inner sanctum of peace to the world beyond. The spice box helps us to pause and reflect amidst the rush of modern living.

Below you can see the spice box removed from the book. 

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Scents of Peace   1997-98

Photo Credit:  Philip Cohen.

Photo Credit:  Philip Cohen.

Back view

Back view

Spice box constructed using recycled tin cans including Pushke boxes from Jewish National Fund boxes. Sterling silver roof peak, and details
12.50”Hx  5"W  x  5” D

scentscu

Scents of Peace was featured on the cover of Jewish Monthly Magazine March/April 1999

jewishmonthly