Tree cheers for WIZO artwork exhibition

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A STUNNING exhibition embracing the ideals of peaceful co-existence opened in Glasgow last week.

The WIZO Women and Their Olive Trees exhibition was launched last in the Glasgow University Chapel, where it will be based until next Friday.

The event, organised by Scottish WIZO Council chairman Deirdre Bernard, began with a performance by Choral Contemplations.

Mrs Bernard said: “This exhibition has come from a group of Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Circassian women, aged 17–80, from a variety of places and backgrounds.

“These women, who are not professionals, have made these paintings with great feeling.

The event was sponsored by the Alma and Leslie Wolfson Charitable Trust, Glasgow University and Centre for Israel and Scotland Relations director Ruth Kennedy.

The exhibition was opened by Honorary Consul for Israel in Scotland Stanley Lovatt.

Mr Lovatt, who is also JNF KKL Scotland president, said: “As many of you possibly know, because of my own personal charitable interests, trees in Israel are very close to my heart.

“Women and their Olive Trees was inaugurated in May 2014 in the WIZO Community Centre in Afula.

“The project involved individuals from Afula and surrounding Arab villages, resulting in 35 terrific oil paintings.

“These are inspired by the understanding and commitment of these Israeli women of all cultural and religious backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of Israeli society, which comprises Jews, Muslims and Christians and others.

“The olive tree is a recognised symbol of peace and is the chosen theme for all the paintings, creating an environment of tolerance and friendship embodying a message of hope and peaceful co-existence.”

He added: “What started as a small community project has become international and has been exhibited virtually throughout the world — closer to home in Parliament in Westminster and in the Scottish Parliament, where I had the privilege of being able to see part of the exhibition some months ago.”

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