New sculpture stands tall

Friday, 27 Oct 2017

Mount Sinai College set out on a mission: to create a large symbolic sculpture that characterises and embodies the school’s values and ethos. The sculpture would need to represent the strength and vitality of what the school describes as a growing and thriving Jewish community. 

Industrial designer Joel Adler felt he could deliver on such an important request, and single handedly develop a piece of art from concept into reality. The sculpture, named Tree of Life, marked the end to a year-long staged process of renovations to rebuild a College campus with state-of-the-art facilities and classrooms. 

Joel graduated from UNSW with a Bachelor of Industrial Design and continued his passion by working at his father’s metal factory, Ogis Engineering, as an Industrial Designer and Draftsperson. Gaining experience in metal fabrication and design, Joel was ready to take on his first large scale project for Mount Sinai College. He created several concepts for this brief however his 3D interpretation of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life was the obvious choice. 

“From the onset I wanted to imbue the sculpture with Jewish symbolism without the use of text. The Magen David motif is created using overlapping metal latticework and the resulting shadows on the wall and floor of the building created a wonderful Magen David pattern,” says Joel

Before construction began, Joel built a 10:1 scale model to check that all dimensions and construction methods were appropriate. Construction of the final sculpture began in December 2018 and Tree of Life was installed at the school in 2 parts, the base (trunk) and the top half. These parts were fused together on site using a temporary scaffold. 

To match the name of the sculpture (Tree of Life) and overall aesthetics of the school, Mount Sinai plan on intertwining vines around and inbetween the sculpture.

“The new developments at Mount Sinai are jaw dropping and I feel very honoured to be asked to contribute. I’m very excited to come back in a couple years and see the vines established,” says Joel.

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