" Frank Meisler Jerusalem "
"It is impossible to be indifferent to Jerusalem: it inspires, it infuriates, and as the 137th psalm warns, one forgets it at one’s own peril.
The diverse buildings of the city have a powerful unity imposed by the stones from which they are constructed; Jerusalem stone quarried from the surrounding hills since biblical times. The dust from the quarries and walls settle on the trees, so that they also blend into this city of universal stone.
The walls, towers, gates, and holy sites erected by conquerors, destroyed and built again by other conquerors, all resemble each other. The artifices of Herod the Great, Suliman the Magnificent, down to the latest Irish pub, merge and then ignore each other. So too do the three great religions centered here, they co-exist but when they quarrel the same stones fly.
This fusion of time, style and conflict is that which inspired my sculpture of Jerusalem. I constructed it as a sphere because it is a world in its own right and because mediaeval mapmakers drew it as a circular city: the center and the navel of the universe.
I sculpted the enclosing walls with their diverse styles; the seven symbolic gates that lead into the city, the Temple Mount, churches, mosques and the villages that lie outside in the shadow of its walls.
My aim was to convey the intensity and essence of Jerusalem, a city in which I do not live and from which I keep my distance, because it is a Holy Place that gives so much and demands so much." F.M.