Hadar, 35, bulimic for 14 years, participant of Project 2020

"I'm starting a fresh page in many ways, and everything in this painting is what I wish for myself to happen." "You are responsible for how your life will look from now on," I said. "I'm here just to give inspiration."

Update sent to the supporters of the crowdfunding project, 28.04.2012:

My second meeting in Haifa took place at Hadar’s apartment. She is a nice woman in her 30s with hearing impairment, who has been bulimic for 14 years. An educated girl who works hard for a living and helps the hearing impaired communicate with the world.
When I called Hadar about two weeks ago to schedule the meeting, she told me that she was just leaving the apartment where she had lived for the past 10 years. “You must see the house before I leave it,” she told me on the phone. “Can you take pictures for me?” I asked, and she agreed.
Hadar’s new apartment is tidy and minimalist, sparkling almost to the point of sterility, and very bright. There are good energies. She makes me coffee, and we sit down to talk in the living room.

She lost her mother when she was 15 and her father a few years later, never really allowing herself to mourn. Despite coming from a large family, she is lonely in the world. Her siblings have cut off contact with her. She cries. The loneliness is sad.

Hadar is very aware of her situation; the large library in the living room is full of books, many of them related to her mental state and illness. Awareness is a huge advantage on the way to healing, but unfortunately, it is not enough. Recently, she tried an innovative treatment with an alternative therapist in Jerusalem; it helped a bit, but she is still struggling. Alone.

The clean and orderly house lacks life. I remember the apartment where I lived alone in Tel Aviv, how many secrets I had in that apartment, how much sadness and loneliness I experienced there,

how I feared letting people into my life, and the great shame I felt about my illness.

Before I leave, she takes out her cell phone and shows me a video she filmed for me of her old apartment. A small, sad, and dark home where she spent 10 years of her life. “I’m happy for you that you treated yourself. The new home gives the feeling that something good is going to happen here,” I say, looking at the empty wall in the living room, where I imagine Hadar’s optimistic painting will one day hang.

On the way back to my messy and crowded apartment, with the laundry, the dishes, the paintings that changed my life, and my beloved family, she calls. “You forgot the pictures…” she says, and I tell her to keep them. “When we meet, you’ll return them to me.” In my heart, I think that maybe it is not a coincidence. Maybe my pictures need to be there with her, in her clean, orderly, and bright apartment a little longer, until her painting arrives.”

I take pictures of my family and show her. Eight years later, I am in a different place. “You can get out of this illness, even after 14 years. You need to believe, hope, and act. There is a whole life out there waiting for you,” I tell her. Something about her touches me deeply.
I hand her the questionnaire, and she reads it. “You know,” she says, “I’ve already made peace with the fact that I won’t have children.” “I was there too,” I say. “Allow yourself to dream that you are answering the questionnaire… allow yourself to free your mind a bit.”

Update sent to the supporters of the crowdfunding project, 30.09.2013:

I finished Hadar’s painting about a year and a half ago, and since then, we have been trying to schedule a meeting that, for various reasons, has not yet taken place. As time passed, the thought crossed my mind that maybe this meeting would never happen. About a week ago, in the evening, she came to my house to see it for the first time. “I needed to be ready,” she told me. “It took me a while…”

Hadar meets her painting

When I turned it towards her and saw her reaction, I remembered why I even started this project. She was very emotional, and so was I. “It came at just the right time,” she said, adding, “I’m starting a fresh page in many ways, and everything in this painting is what I wish for myself to happen.” “You are responsible for how your life will look from now on,” I said. “I’m here just to give inspiration.”

THE FIRST MEAL | Hadar’s painting

Towards midnight, she left. Hadar is on the right path. She has decided that she deserves more from life, and that is not a bad starting point at all. I believe in her power to change and create a full and happy life for herself, exactly as in the painting, exactly as she wants.

The 2020 project exhibition:

Project 2020 is an optimistic social art project. The project began in 2012 and continued until 2015. The project was inspired by my personal and optimistic journey to overcome a 16-year struggle with an eating disorder.

For project details and artworks

Project 2020 | Solo exhibition

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