Esther at the library
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-04-11
A Megilah Esther which marks the festival of Purim is set to be one of the leading attractions at a special exhibition at London's British Library.
The seven metre Ramsgate Megilah, which took three years to make, was created by set designer by Mark Negin and will be on show at Sacred: Discover What We Share which runs from April 27 to September 23.
Negin, who is 75, has been designing Judaica since 1985 and cites Simeon Solomon as one of his influences for the Megilah.
"My approach to designing the scroll was as if I were designing the costumes for a stage production," he says. "It required much research as well as a very careful reading of the script. Scenes from the story of Esther and her uncle Mordecai and King Ahasuerus and the wicked Haman have been depicted by many artists, including Rembrandt and I have tried, as in any new stage production, to give a modern reading to the text which may not always coincide with the traditional one and I hope that my Megilah Esther will make the story accessible to many more people."
As well a Jewish work of art, other religions including Islam and Christianity are represented.