A few years ago I nearly converted to Judaism. I had found out that my Great Grandmother had come from a Jewish family. And so I delved into a history and culture that I was only slightly aware of – I was raised as a Roman Catholic.
I read many books on being Jewish – I also found myself watching a lot of Woody Allen movies.
A topic that I found particularly interesting was the Holocaust or Shoah. After reading so many books, and seeing so many images I felt as if I was somehow connected to these human beings that suffered so much.
I even had dreams that I was a child on a train to Auschwitz. I stopped reading so much about the Shoah after that.
After speaking with a Rabbi I decided not to go on with the conversion. It was as if something within me had turned off. I had learned all that I had desired to learn.
During the time that I was reading up on Judaism I did a few paintings centered on the Shoah.
The writing on the tracks are stories of experiments that took place in Auschwitz. While survivor stories make up the sky.
I had also painted a large scale version of this piece – it’s called Why?. It was a triptych on wood. I would have taken a picture but it is stil hidden somewhere at my Mom’s place.
You can find the inspiration for the piece here (the photograph).
I have decided to do a whole collection on the Holocaust – Hands being the second of that collection. Although, I do think I will do a second version of Why? on one piece of wood rather than three.
So now to continue my untitled Shoah collection.