Achiam (Ahiam Shoshany) was born in 1916 in Beit-Gan (today part of Yavne’el in Galilee). He first studied economy, but then decided to change profession and work as a stonemason in Jerusalem’s quarries. In the late 1950s, he studied in Paris, where he started making sculptures from stone remnants, some of which were done in the style of naive art. In this period he was influenced by famous artists, such as Dubuffet, Dali, Zadkine, Picasso and Brancusi. Achiam participated in numerous exhibitions and won major awards, such as the Gran Prix des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1965. His public sculptures can be found in Israel, Austria, Slovenia and France. He lived and worked in the French city of Sèvres, where he passed away in 2005.
Achiam’s style of simplified figural shapes is a reference to the aesthetically clean language of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. The same holds true for the sculpture dedicated to those who have fallen for freedom, which is a narrative about the timeless expressive power of the primal, archaic language of art. The profile of the large, lying head with empty eye sockets and a menacingly open mouth reflects the agony and undisguised pain of the sufferer. As if a silent scream visually resonated in space in a powerful way and entrapped the spectator’s gaze as soon as they entered this section of the park, surrounded by cypress trees. The head lies on a massive pedestal, which gives the sculpture the needed monumentality and pathos of a monument.