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large artwork
Large work

About the Work

According to the Bible, the first state of Israel (Zion) began with Joshua’s defeat of the Canaanites at the Battle of Jericho, when, as the famous song says, The walls came tumbling down. Joshua then made sure that all the Canaanites in Jericho were killed according to the will of God, sparing only those who had let his army in.

This seminal event happened at a time of transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age, but like most religious assertions, there is no archaeological evidence for any of it.

Iron, an inflexible material, still carries graphic evocation in Israel. Its impressive system of defence against rocket attack is not named Iron Dome for nothing. While I was still making this work, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken described US commitment to Israel as iron-clad. I had been unsure about my working title, but his remark, convinced me that I had the right title.

I had no idea where to start in planning this work as it was such a formidable subject. But I had bought a cheap plastic relief map in a Jerusalem tourist kiosk, which I had left on a chest of drawers in my Jerusalem hotel room, pretty much forgetting about it. And then, one morning, I spied it from its edge as I climbed out of bed. There was the basis for this work.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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