About Kakadu – Art for the Heart
Kakadu was founded in 1990 by Aharon and Reut Shahar.
Reut is an artist and musician, active in the fields of plastic art and environmental sculpture. Aharon is a teacher of the Alexander Technique and a woodworker-designer.
Reut developed unique techniques for hand-painting wood and integrated the images with the design of practical products used in daily life. Aharon was a partner in the both the design and manufacturing ends. He also developed a finishing technique that allows all Kakadu products to be used constantly for years without wearing out.
Kakadu quickly became a singular and unique brand in Israel and abroad, and created patented products such as its wooden carpets that can be used as wall hangings . Branches have been opened in Israel, America, France, Spain, Holland, and Switzerland, as well as other countries.
The enterprise grew steadily and many new workers were hired. About ten years ago, the Shahars bought a holding in Moshav Tzafririm-Elah Valley and built there a studio, a spacious gallery and a visitors’ center, all bordering the “Adulam” forest nature preserve behind the moshav.
Reut : “We understood that such a delicate product, based on hand crafting and painting, requiring frequent creative innovations, wouldn’t be able to compete with the globalization processes, Chinese manufacturing, and the market’s aggressiveness. Therefore, we decided to concentrate on exporting to America and various European countries, as well as increasing the activities in the Tzafririm gallery and focusing on a number of local, high-class stores for Israeli art.”
The gallery has expanded and contains a broad selection of Kakadu products, including the unique wooden wall hangings that are Kakadu’s internationally patented invention, art-based fashion, jewelry, and furniture. The gallery also hosts changing exhibits, a variety of group workshops, music seminars, and classes on nature and Jewish heritage.
Aharon : “We have just declared ourselves a nature preserve, and as is fitting for endangered species, we’re careful to keep everything balanced correctly and not branch out into business-related activities that are liable to upset the balance and damage us and our products. People from all over the country and the world come to our gallery. We have a more direct relationship with our customers and they enjoy both the environment we’ve created and the nature preserves in the Elah Valley area. As creative people, it’s important for us to create the right atmosphere.”
Kakadu has been regarded for many years as an outstanding Israeli brand name, durable and useful yet colorful and artistic, never compromising on hand-painting each and every item in its selection.
Today, Reut also manages unique design projects in Israel and abroad, designing unique living spaces and furniture. Not long ago, she designed a very large restaurant with a unique concept in Disneyland-Orlando, Florida.