Straight out of a women and sisterhood story, Orly’s carpet (Passion 54) speaks
about the greatest secret of all times: “It is only with heart that one can see rightly”.
Orly’s life has revolved around recycled art and social work. At the age of 14, she
began to sew dolls and, 10 years later, in her hometown of Herzlia (Israel), she
combined both these loves into art therapy for mentally challenged children and their
families. At the same time, she started art workshops and after school programs for
kindergarten teachers. In 1992, she won a prize for opening the first social club for
mentally challenged children.
In the same spirit of recycled art and social work, she and her husband created Well
Paper when they moved to Auroville. The aim was to teach women living in villages
in the bioregion the technique of papier mâché as well as the knowledge to run a
small business. Well Paper started with 5 women and now has 100. This project
succeeded in its objectives of empowering women, creating local livelihood, recycling
waste and creating beautiful art.
In addition to this, Orly started making enormous fantasy birds out of papier mâché,
which looked like they had stepped out of an animation film.
The last two years have been a significant in her creative journey. This carpet,
Passion 54, began as a healing project when, at the age of 54, Orly decided to make
her heart whole again. Art is just like love, it requires vision and persistence, and this
carpet speaks about the power to create something beautiful through patient trials
Orly went to thrift stores in South India to collect old, worn saris, tore them into long
threads and, with passion, re-assembled them into a beautiful art piece…a carpet
made of 54 circles.
Much more than a carpet made of saris, this piece narrates the stories and life of
hundreds of Indian women. Some saris are immaculate, some stained with blood,
food and sweat, some brand new, looking royal. The most touching one for Orly was
carefully held together with a line of stitching and was so thin that it looked like it had
been worn for one hundred years.
Each art piece has a story, especially in recycled art, and in this healing project it
seems that when the body dies, the story does not, and when the heart breaks, it is
Looking at those 54 round circles, close your eyes for one minute, get on Orly’s
magical carpet made of colourful, passionate floating saris and fly to the land of 1001
tales of beautiful Indian women.
Chana Corinne for AVArtS