A change is as good as a rest.

Mila Tanya Griebel

About Mila Tanya Griebel

A graduate of the Royal College of Art, I have over thirty years’ experience of designing and making Judaica. My work has been exhibited widely in Britain and the US, with a number of museums buying work for their permanent collections.Most of my work is bought by synagogues and Jewish households for ritual use. My philosophy is to design Judaica using contemporary references without detracting from the ritual functions or rules regarding the manufacture of the piece.My motivation is to produce a modern body of work, to create Judaica as heirlooms for future generations. To preserve the ritual and identity of the survivors, in some small way I am rebuilding the losses of possessions that many families, like my own, experienced. My work covers a range of personal Judaica and jewellery, public sculptural pieces and synagogue ritual mixed metal and silverware. I draw heavily on abstraction of traditional symbols for my contemporary style and combines my own family experiences on smaller personal items.I am a Freeman of the City of London, Goldsmiths’ and one of the founders and trustee of Cockpit Arts (Holborn).

About A change is as good as a rest.

Shmita, to me, is about taking the 7th year to do something different. It is important to use this opportunity to create echoes and reminders of how to refresh ourselves, whether that be agriculturally, socially or creatively.I have created a weekly menorah which isn’t just counting the days, but allows one day to be apart, resting. In exploring the relationship of rest and work, the concept of rest in my mind is not necessarily physical, with feet up and a cup of tea, but mental rest gained from doing different things and engaging with different people. It can often be more exhausting to have a good day off. But the replenishment is vital.Taking a year to do the same allows for bigger challenges to be addressed in society or more structural changes in the family or the self. Sabbaticals for research have long been a tradition in academic circles. My contention is that these should be built into society as well. Consider what could be done if governments, agencies and businesses did something different every seven years. This last year has been a powerful reminder of the importance of different. With many working out their priorities under a pandemic. We’ve seen the best of humanity when things are made to be different. Building the concept of Shmita into a weekly ritual allows us to anchor the big changes back into the betterment of daily life. Reminding us why it is important to take a year, or a day, to do something different. Which is why a change is as good as a rest.