February 22, 2024

The group exhibition, Behind the Mask, was planned to be a part of the Jerusalem Biennale but has been postponed until March 11, 2024. In the meantime, the exhibition is on display at the Museum Casale Ebraica in Torino, Italy.

The exhibition delves into the interpretations and potential contexts surrounding the Book of Esther, highlighting its relevance to our history as a nation and as women today. Only two books of the Hebrew Bible are named after women, Ruth and Esther. The Book of Esther explores the transformation of the heroine and her role in changing her nation’s destiny.

Israeli and Italian artists have contributed works based on the themes and narratives of the Purim story, showcasing the spiritual significance of disguise and hidden identity across different cultures.

The curators, Ermanno Tedeschi and Vera Pilpoul, selected works that explore the concepts of wearing masks and hiding one’s identity, drawing attention to the spiritual meanings behind these rituals. One of the artists, Beverley Jane Stewart, aims to shed light on the relevance of the Book of Esther to contemporary issues, particularly those concerning women’s rights and gender equality.

Stewart’s series of artwork, titled ‘Behind the Veil,’ uses line, texture, and shades to depict the frequent concealment of women’s power, needs, and frustrations. She emphasizes the ongoing fight for women’s equality and respect, particularly in religious settings.

In her exploration of female heroism in the Bible, Stewart focuses on Esther’s bravery and the impact of her actions. She also expresses her disappointment with the restrictions placed on women in certain religious practices. The exhibition is on display at the Museum Casale Ebraica in Torino until December 3.