12 September 2007


Whilst the photo in the frame of Sam and Esther is taken in Aust I somehow needed to place it and also incorporate that book I was telling you about here.

There are many interlinking elements at play here.

The frame is very old indeed. I placed it on top of a piece of wood which mimics the colour of the wood features in Sam and Esthers home.

To that I added and aged wallpaper appropriate to the era.

But the element sit on the left hand side of the Book called “Blessed Is The Match”.

I just had to incorporate it for reasons that will become apparent in a minute.

For me the title if one took it standing alone – represented the blessed match between Sam and Esther – their union.

Hence you will also find another bird, a love bird perched upon a branch – perhaps, as I took it an olive branch – representing for me the peace of Australia.

But more significantly as you will see here…

The book is printed in 1948, the year of the birth of the state of Israel and more-so the story – the story of Jewish Resistance in WW2.

Sam fought in the resistance as you will already know. The book tells all the stories of those who resisted and fought during that time.

To me it is significant to Esther as well for her survival is a tale of resistance.

The strange thing about this piece was that I wanted to highlight the words in the first page when one opens the book. They are written by Hanna Senesh.

Hanna Senesh was a Hungarian Jew, one of 37 Jews living Israel, who were trained by the British army to parachute into Yugoslavia during the Second World War in order to help save the Jews of Hungary, who were about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz.
Szenes was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned and tortured, but she refused to reveal details of her mission, and was eventually tried and executed by firing squad. She is regarded as a national heroine in Israel, where streets are named after her and her poetry is widely known.

Here is a close-up of the words of her poem which I feel is so pertinent to the lives of Sam and Esther at that time but also generally about them. Now you realize maybe – I hope why I just had to add the book to the 'Numbers' piece.

Strange that after I tore apart an old clock and added the old brass and wood columns I adhered a piece of mica to highlight the words. The mica sits quite a fair distance away from the words and I decided to add some ink, in flame type colouring.

Yet it was the shape of the mica, the arch that when added to the element, then only did I realise that the element looked somewhat like the Harbour Bridge here in Sydney. The place that was to become their home.

Finally and this is the last of the elements for this panel and the last of the very emotionally dark posts – is the flag which sits below the Droga family’s nameplate – sitting under the bird I described in the previous post.

But it is also sitting on top of the book 'Blessed Is The Match'.

When I spent that Sunday with Esther she told me the following…
She had gone on the Death March –

(Toward the end of World War II in 1944, as Britain and the United States moved in on the concentration camps from the west, the Soviet Union was advancing from the east, the Germans decided to abandon the camps, moving or destroying evidence of the atrocities they had committed there.

Prisoners, already sick after months or years of violence and starvation, were marched for miles then transported for days at a time without food or shelter in freight trains with open carriages; and forced to march again at the other end to the new camp. Those who could not keep up were killed. Around 15,000 died on the way.

Elie Wiesel, was forced on a death march, along with his father, Shlomo, from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, which he describes in his 1958 book Night.)-

On this march someone spotted Esther and this is when she found out that her brother had just been accidentally killed by Allied forces.

After this and at the time of liberation, Esther, amongst others hid in the forest.

They were hiding in a marzipan factory.

To this day Esther can no longer eat Marzipan.

By the way when I arrived at ther home that day she had told me that she had just taken a bath – she has not had a shower since Auschwitz – she will never have a shower for as you all know, Jews were told to have showers on their arrival at the Camps. The showers turned out to be gas chambers.

When hiding in the factory, there were a number of attempts by the allied forces to get them out. But they were so frightened that they would not go out until they knew it was safe to do so. On one occasion they saw someone waving an Israeli flag so they walked out of the factory to freedom.

She said she just could not believe her eyes when the American soldier (I think it was American Jewish soldier) waved the flag. To this day she cries every time she sees that flag.

So I had to put it in the piece, under the bird representing freedom and touching the book about Jewish resistance.

This is the end of the top part of panel 2.

So here is the top part of the panel for you to view.

Next post will be the lower and larger part of the panel. I have only one element to go on panel 3. But I will have to stop for 2 days as it is Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year, tonight. It’s not like the normal New Year.

It represents the 10 most Holiest days of our year, when “The Book Of Life” is opened.

During the next ten days, it is said that G-d decides who shall live and who shall die, and determines all that will happen during the year. It culminates in Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement, in ten days time, when the Book of Life is closed for the year.

It is a tradition to ask others for forgiveness should one have offended or hurt anyone during the past year. So to anyone I may have inadvertently offended, I offer my sincere apologies. I wish anyone who this may be relevant to the happiest of new years, filled with only Good health, happiness and prosperity.


I would like to also say that I am thinking of all my American pals and the others affected by the tragedy of September 11.
I did have 2 Aussie mates make it out alive somehow.

"Never forget" - is so appropriate in this context.

So as I finish showing you the dark reminders of a past that had such a huge effect on so many lives -so too unfortunately does this day have dark reminders.

I will Never Forget that dark day and pray for all the victims and their families.
I also pray that events as descibed here and September 11 - never ever occur again.



kris said...

HI Judy-
This sounds like such a good tradition, to reflect each year on one's life, how one has treated others and to begin anew.
I took a workshop with Sally Jean yesterday and across from me at the table was a woman from Melbourne. She had many stories about Australia having lived there for 22 years. So interesting. And I also met a woman named Christine who had been in a class with you in Italy, and taken classes with Sally Jean and Michael there. It is so interesting to me to meet people thru the internet and then in person and to realize how small the world is in a good way.

Kristen Robinson said...

Judy my friend again I am left speechless and awe struck absolutely enthralled and breathless amazing my friend simply amazing.

Steph said...

Your blog is a treat for the eyes , a treat for the mind and a treat for the heart ! And again, all I can say is that stupid : WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwww ! ;)

azirca said...

as always Judy, this is amazing ...

Jen Crossley said...

Stunning Judy your such a true artistian

Susan Tuttle said...

Hi Judy,
The symbolism in your artwork is so powerful--infused with spirit--it transcends!

The tragedies of 9/11 seem so fresh in a lot of ways. So many people that I know, knew someone who was directly affected. I am so happy your friends made it out safely.

I will never forget that day. I had a late miscarriage the day before and had to have a d&c that day. My sister was in NYC on her honeymoon and my parents were in DC. My friend Karen was in a nearby office building and ran for her life out of the area. Luckily they were all okay.

My husband had two college friends who perished--one on the first plane that hit and the other worked for Canter Fitzgerald and never made it out of the tower.

We will never forget. We will remember the beautiful lives of these people.


Karen Cole said...


Shana Tova! May the new year be sweet and peaceful.

R2artstudio said...

Again, you have created such wonderful art with so many meaningful elements. It still amazes me how you seem to always find the right special piece. And I hope it's OK to also wish you, good health, happiness and prosperity for the coming year. And thank you again for sharing these very personal pieces of art.
And it seems like everyone you talk to, has some story, or knew someone, or knew someone's family, etc. How such a tradegy as Sept 11 could touch so many lives around the world. We really are closer than we realize. So take care of yourself, too, neighbor!

LINDSAY said...

Hello Judy~

First of all THANKS so much for stopping by my blog. I'm so honored that such a talented artist/busy woman would even take the time to look at my art!

Anyhow- I love the latest chapter of this story. Everytime I scroll my bloglist, and my eyes pass Red Velvet, I literally find myself wondering if I can hold up through another one of your posts. Your art is so emotional and tells such a story. I hope you are so very proud of yourself, because rarely have I seen a piece of art that tugs on my heartstrings more than yours!

Lissy said...

Amazing amazing amazing :)

Ro Bruhn said...

Happy New Year Judy, another great post, love the way this is progressing, the columns from the clock are fabulous.
I don't blame Esther for not wanting to take a shower, it must be so ingrained in her memory.

Leslie said...

As always, I savored every word and image of this post. Not only are you thoughtful and articulate in your art, but also in your words. It's a pleasure. Wishing you a year full of peace and contentment.

Judy Wise said...

Good health and happiness to you in the coming year. Your work has been such a gift. Thank you.

jo said...

What an amazing journey you have taken us on Judy! Each and every post is a treat.
Happy New Year and enjoy the break from art!

Julie H said...

Happy New Year Judy.
As I read this post my poor mind was in a whirlwind. One part of my mind was sick of hearing about the blackness of heart which lead to the persecution of so many Jews, not just in this time period but throughout history. Not the actual hearing, but the events happening to lead to them being talked about. Then the Christian part said, 'but Julie this was fortold ...'. Round and round my head went - until I came back to my usual place. It happened, and I am so very very glad that you have recorded this history, these lives and given them some of the dignity and strentght history robs when it makes the holocause about numbers.
You Judy are amazing.

Mim said...

I love your site and your work!

Night Owl Designs said...

Beautioful work, as always! Congratulations :-)

Karen Owen said...

Judy, Once again, I have been inspired by your work and by Esther's and Sam's story. Hanna Senesch must have been an extraordinary woman. I pray that I might have that kind of courage if I'm ever placed in such a horrendous situation. I loved the line in her poem that read "blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honour's sake." That's exactly what she did.

Happy New Year, dear Judy!


Jamie said...

Happy New Year sweet Judy!

Numbers-Panel Two has turned out just as heartwrenchingly beautiful as Panel One. What an absolute treasure you have created. Your attention to the historical importance of Sam and Esther and others during that time period is absolutely captivating. Thank you so much for sharing their story with the world. Love, Jamie

craftyhala said...

My husbands uncle just passed on on September 11 (a few days ago)from cancer.
never forget will live on with our family for many reasons.
Wonderful work you do. I love it.

Stephanie t. said...

I came across your blog via Michael de Meng's...the mention of your name and a link. You dear, are nothing short of amazing. You are what keeps the memory alive.
L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi

Cindy Dean said...

"L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi" or "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." I was just reading about this the other day. As always, your art is stunning.

Cre8Tiva said...

this is again beyond words...wishing you a blessed holiday time...peace and forgivness...blessings, rebecca

Altered Belly aka. CrazyArtGirl said...

Just awesome. Phenomenal work.