The Samania Park for Environmental Art and Ecology


Ongoing community sculpture project.


Samania near Harduf,

Gallilee, Israel

2005 - today


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The Samania Park for Environmental Art and Ecology


the Samania site - view toward the Carmel mountains


Samania Park development planThe Samania Park Project had its origin in 2003, when the Harduf community decided to create an ecological sewage treatment plant which would clean all of the communities wastewater. This plant was to be constructed on the site of an disused olive orchard some three kilometres from the community. The artist was commissioned to take responsibility for the landscaping of the facility. When, in 2006, the facility was about to be completed, the artist, together with the environmental sculptor Reuven Aloro Cohen, devised a plan for the further development of the site. The sewage treatment plant was to generate up to 100 cubic metres of clean water every day - which in a arid country like Israel can be seen as an enormous potential. The artists created the vision of a park for the research, development and practice of environmental art and ecological education. The water from the purification plant was to be used for irrigation of the park, and in particular for growing plants for building and traditional crafts, plants which otherwise would be difficult to grow in Israel becaus of their irrigation needs. These plants were to include bamboo, willows and paper mulberry - all of which are very useful for ecological building, traditional crafts and environmental art. The artists developed a master plan which was presented at the inauguration of the treatment plant in 2006.


tha artist speaking at the treatment plant opening


tree planting at SamaniaIn 2006 - 2007 many bamboo plants, willows, paper mulberries as well as other local tree species were planted in Samania Park. The first simple workshop shelters were built in the beginning of 2007. In spring 2007 a ecological building and traditional craft festival was held in the park. Craftspeople and artists ran workshops on drywall building, mud-building, willow-weaving, building with bamboo, dying with plant colors and other similar subjects.


Mud-building workshop at Samania Park


environmental sculpture workshop with class 10 studentsIn continuation a variety of environmental sculpture workshops, involving high school students and art students, were held by the two artists, during which both permanent and temporary artworks were created.


environmental sculpture created by art students at Samania Park












students' environmental sculpture workshop at Samania Park





















Following Reuven's untimely death in 2010, Axel continued to persue the original vision and conducted further environmental sculpture and craft workshops with a variety of participants.

































In November 2011 and December 2012, the artist intiated community lampion floating events on the Samania lake in memory of Reuven. Individual lampions were created by families of the Harduf community in a lampion creation workshop. These lampions were floated in the evening on the Samania lake.







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