Textile artist Laurie Wohl presents a gallery talk on her work Birds of Longing: Exile and Memory, hosted by the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
Birds of Longing was originally to be on exhibit at the Poetry Center during spring 2020. This gallery talk, which also includes a brief conversation between Wohl and Poetry Center library specialist Julie Swarstad Johnson, is part of the Sally and Ralph Duchin Campus Lecture Series, cosponsored by the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies.
Birds of Longing, a collection of distinctive fiber art pieces by Laurie Wohl with an accompanying soundscape, emphasizes commonalities among the spiritual texts and poetry of the three Abrahamic religions. Wohl’s unique Unweavings interweave Jewish, Muslim, and Christian texts from the medieval period of the Convivencia in Spain with those of contemporary Middle Eastern poets, particularly Palestinian, Syrian, and Israeli. Themes of spiritual love, justice, memory, exile, mistrust of enemies, and yearning for reconciliation recur throughout Birds of Longing, stimulating thought about the shared emotional, aesthetic, thematic, and spiritual content of these traditions.