Skipton Town Hall were delighted to welcome members of the Kibbutz and design team, after they travelled all the way to Craven for the exhibition launch.
The story of the calendar was brought full circle, when members of the original Calendar Girls – Angela Knowles, Tricia Stewart, Beryl Bamforth and Lynda Logan, with photographer Terry Logan, attended the event to meet kibbutz members and hear more about how they had inspired the Israeli project.
The Sidor Avoda (meaning ‘Work Schedule’) exhibition came about when members of the Shaar-Hagolan Kibbutz, 2600 miles from Craven, saw the 2003 film ‘Calendar Girls’ and started a conversation with a local design team. The creative project evolved, and connections were made between the past and the present, the young with the elderly, and traditional core values with those of the modern-day kibbutz environment. After going on display at different sites in Israel, the team approached Skipton Town Hall about exhibiting the work in the area of Yorkshire that the true story of the Calendar Girls took place.
At the first international exhibition since the redevelopment of Skipton Town Hall, visitors will have the chance to learn more about the project, the members of the community who were photographed and the history of the Kibbutz. The exhibition also delves into the Craven Museum collection, showcasing objects related to the original Calendar Girls story, twenty-four years after the original ‘Alternative WI Calendar’ was released by the members of Craven based Rylstone Women’s Institute. Items on display include early planning material for the original calendar and publicity from the screenplay premiere at the Plaza Cinema.
Calendar model and Kibbutz member, Uzi Ring, said: “When I saw the exhibition in Skipton Town Hall, I could not believe it. When we started the calendar project with the men of Shaar Hagolan Kibbutz in the Jordan Valley of Israel, we never dreamed it would travel this far, all the way to the home of the Calendar Girls in Yorkshire.
We were so happy that the Town Hall team took so much interest in our proposal and worked with us to put our exhibition in the gallery alongside items from the Craven Museum collection. Some of us decided to come all the way to the opening day and I, being one of the twelve calendar models, took advantage of the situation and took a trip. Thank you to designers Meital Levi and Rotem Kaydar, photographer Erez Biton and Aviv Lesham who all helped to bring this great journey to an amazing conclusion. We really hope everyone will enjoy the exhibition.”
Chairman for Craven District Council and lead member for enterprising Craven, Cllr Simon Myers, opened the exhibition, saying: “The inspirational story of the Calendar Girls is one known to people across the world. The creation of an alternative WI calendar to raise funds for charity grew into an international phenomenon and it all started here in Craven. I bought one of the first calendars myself from Lynda Logan and still have it somewhere! We are honoured that the kibbutz team approached us to exhibit at Skipton Town Hall and we are so excited for the launch of this unique exhibition”
The original WI Calendar project has so far raised £5 million (and counting) for blood cancer research. You can donate by visiting bloodcancer.org.uk
The exhibition runs from 23rd March – 17th June 2023 and entry is free.