Malka Wanetik was my grandfather’s sister. She had no children of her own and I had no other grandparents, so she was actually my grandmother.

She was born in Odessa in 1919 and immigrated to Israel in 1923. In addition to her work as a secretary, she studied painting at the Free Military Academy in Alexandria and in Israel, with the most famous and respected teachers like Yitzhak Frenkel, Mokadi, Janko, Steimatzky, Streichman, Hanna Tversky and others.

In 1967 she published a beautiful and unique drawings book “Drawings – Animal Characters” that included 24 illustrations of animals that she saw and expertly draw in the first, historic, old zoo of Tel Aviv that was closed in 1980 but remains in people’s hearts and memories as a symbol of the city, and as a result, the shopping mall that was built on its land is called today “Gan Haair” (The City Garden).

A few months ago I came across this book from which I had only one last crumbling copy. I found out that it was published exactly 50 years ago. I looked again at the amazing illustrations and thought it would be a pity to let this book and illustrations be forgotten.

I decided to mark the 50th anniversary in a special way, so I took some of the illustrations and turn them into metal sculptures made of laser cutting. I did that while trying to preserve, as much as possible, the delicate and clean line of illustrations.

Each sculpture is actually an illustration of a frozen moment, a movement of an animal in a zoo that was closed decades ago, and somehow it feels to me now that, in some way, I brought them back to life.

More info: artoridesign.com