‘Abstractions from Kazimierz’ are works in watercolour, soft pastel and graphite, as well as photographs. Over 17 weeks in 2014, I made 5 trips to Poland. In Kazimierz, the pre-war Jewish district of Krakow, I found a neighbourhood in the process of rediscovering her identity – honouring the past and celebrating the present. Erica Lehrer, associate professor at Concordia University in Canada, has described this process as ‘a particularly spectacular Jewish heritage renaissance’. This new work is a first response at capturing the energy and spirit of Kazimierz today.
The photographs of the ‘Remuh Wall’ I took on September 7, 2014. Note the small stones resting on ledges of the wall. Each was laid by a visitor in memory and respect of these dead. This wall located in the cemetery of ‘Remuh Synagogue’ in the Kazimierz district of Krakow, was lovingly made up of the many refound fragmented head stones. With the occupation of German forces from autumn 1939, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues were smashed and desecrated. Years later the stones were found to have been used as building materials, and as paving slabs of the death camps and work camps of WW2. The ‘stones’ reclamation and restoration began in the 1980’s when the one-party state of Poland was losing its authoritarian control and influence over the people.
Photographs measure at 300 x 360 and are in editions of 10.