Celebrating 2017 women's day with Vashti and Esther

As women's international day is over, and Purim is yet to come, we remember an exhibition we joined exactly two years ago, focused on the two queens who role the story of 'Megillat Esther'. We were asked to 'Re-invent' a ritual item connected to the reading of the Megillah.

'Vashti and Esther flag' is our design interpretation to a still rare ritual of waving flags, commemoration both queens - Vashti and Esther. The flag is waved whenever the names of Esther or Vashti are said.It is a gentle take on the great noise the audience arose whenever Haman's name is said.

Purim flag - modern Judaica - Jewish feminist art
The flag has holes for eyes, and function as a mysterious mask, it refers to the enigmatic sequence of events and balance of power between men and women in the Megillah.

Made of wood and paper, the flag was first launched in that exhibition that took place in Neve Shechter at Feb. 2015.

Like always - the design research for this project was fascinating for us, we were looking for inspiration within wide cultural background.
Starting with 'market research' - looking for other Vashti flags in the modern Judaica world, we hardly found any relevant object, even today, two years later, could not find any new Purim flags across the web.

Efod art by Adina

To name the most impressive and bold piece of contemporary textile Judaica - look at this reach design, by Adina from Efod Art

Vashti and Esther flag - Jewish feminist art
We ended up with a fusion object that combines inspiring sources like historic fans and ancient masks. These items have such a rich history and cultural meanings, especially when we imagine those women hiding their faces behind, or waving over their faces. The performance of mysterious figure glancing behind a decorated hand item awoke our imagination.

design process inspiration board 

The graphic pattern of the double sided flag, was inspired by common playing cards, originally developed in Europe in the middle ages, with their typical rotational symmetry of the royal families' iconic figures.
We were happy to meet excellent artist who also exhibited in that show, such as Siona Benjamin, Shula Keshet, Avi Biran, Dov Abramson, and more:

Sula Keshset (left) / Siona Benjamin (right)

Shula Keshet (left) / Siona Benjamin (right)

The reading of the Megillah within 'Neve Schechter' community that year was an enriching experience, together with Rabbi Roberto Arbib we tried to instill the ritual of waving Purim flag ...

Neve Schechter – Legacy Heritage Center for Jewish Culture in Tel Aviv’s Neve Zedek neighborhood

 If you read up to here - enjoy this candy, left in our inspiration board of this project :)

Purim mask like Knitted Kippah

This awesome series of masks, created by Bertjan Pot is a crazy combination of an overall Knitted Kippah, with lunatic clown face, wearing this white blouse - he does look like a 'yeshiva bocher'