Ancient caves in Israel find new life as a socially-distanced art gallery

A Byzantine quarry hosts contemporary works by Ivo Bisignano

Israel’s 2000-year-old Beit Guvrin Caves are opening for the first time in 25 years, to host an exhibition of artist Ivo Bisignano’s work.

His Human Forms show features a series of wooden sculptures and line-drawn images of people and faces. The cave’s ancient limestone walls also serve as the canvas for a series of animations created by Bisignano, which include depictions of crows and references to pop art.

According to the artist, the caves create a ‘historic and archaeological context within a historical and archaic context’, turning the site into a museum. The network of 800 bell-shaped caves in Southern Israel’s Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park shows evidence of ancient human hands in their shapes and grooves, as well as a set of painted burial rooms.

Bisignano’s Human Forms exhibition is located in the Southern Cave,  mined as a marble quarry during the Byzantine and early Muslim periods. The cavernous space offers plenty of room for exhibition-goers to observe social distancing rules.

Human Forms is open until 1 November 2020.

Photography courtesy of Xhibition
Photography courtesy of Xhibition
Photography courtesy of Xhibition

 

Read next: Australia is opening a museum inside the Great Barrier Reef

 

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