12 March 2008


I do understand that those of you who read this and view my artwork are sometimes affected emotionally by it and about it.

I guess, then, I have achieved remembrance of this particular subject.
For that I am content, appreciative and humbled.

I know some of you find it difficult to come to terms with but my art is about reality and the sometimes harshness of life.

I so very much appreciate when you express that to me. I know how most of you feel about the Holocaust and any Genocide. It is going on around us as we speak.
Yes, today in Darfur for example.
Does the world never learn from history?

So thanks for your comments and heartfelt responses and for coming back and viewing this book.


Pictured on the transparency are children at a concentration camp showing
their tattooed arms.

Fortunately there were witnesses to this catastrophic event for those despicable Holocaust deniers – those who say it never happened, well here is proof.

Inside the copper mesh envelope is part of a letter that my grandfather upon arrival in Australia, sent to his wife wondering where she was. His life was spared for reasons I don’t have time to go into here. The letter was sent from the Hay detention camp where he was imprisoned along with the other, now famous, Dunera boys.

The letter was returned to him with the Nazi Stamp, meaning they opened it and read it. On the back their local postman had written they the family was sent to one of the camps.

This is a transparency of the xyclon B gas containers in multitudes.

This is the gas that was used to kill those in the camps.

This is the last surviving photo of the family together – minus my father.
On top of the photo are the words “from generation to generation”. I used the words for one to consider just how many generations of families were completely obliterated.

On a personal note though it meant that at least we had one survive and from that one came the 3 of us – that is my 2 brothers and I.

You only need one to survive to continue a history.

The found door bell plate has an image of a man.

He is pictured from behind.

A witness to the fact that this was a once normal and happy family.

A witness to tragedy.

A symbolic image, as if it were my father standing there, as he was when he took that photo.

The star, which was normally a yellow fabric is represented in copper.

Chained to the page is a double sided glass slide with an image, printed on fabric, of a common sign found all over Europe at the time...

“Jews not welcome here”

On the reverse is probably my favourite element of the entire piece.

It is a mini collage in it is as follows;

Vintage German text from that era.

Fabric representing the uniforms worn in the concentration camps.

The 6th commandment. Though Shalt not murder – taken from an Antique Bible.

And the RANDOM torn word directly below the commandment saying “MAN”

Now the number 498 was pertinent. I will endeavour to try to explain this but it involves Jewish Numerology – “gematria”.

When you add up the numbers 4+9+8 you get 21.
Add the 2 and the 1 and you get 3.

3 members of my immediate family murdered =

... “Though shalt not murder 3 members of my family”.

Amazing coincidence – OR not.

The break in the glass happened whilst attaching the tape – but I left it as in my humble opinion it suited the theme of the element –
A Shattered family,

So many shattered families

So many shattered lives.

The Hebrew word "Zachor" , REMEMBER, stitched on top of a burnt authentic “Tallit” – prayer shawl.

For anyone concerned that I have used authentic texts and material of religious items, do not despair.
I sought and received Rabbinic approval to do such.

Attached at the bottom I placed a bead that looked like a flame.
As a remembrance of the day that a Jewish person dies, each year a 24 hour burning candle is lit in their remembrance.

A Continuous flame burns for Holocaust victims as no known date for the murder of most is known.

Hence the "everlasting" flame under the photo is for the family.

Throughout the entire Holocaust period the Nazi’s took great pleasure in burning religious items, books etc. It is against the laws of Judaism to burn or discard any religious items for example they must be buried as they either have the name of G-d on or in them.

{{{{{{ By the way...}}}}}}
Without going into too much detail, whilst sometimes I have to pay a hefty price, I regularly buy Jewish items, mainly holy books off EBay from vendors who have no idea what the items are.
But the thought of them throwing them away makes me ill.
Which brings to mind something, should you come across any items or books whilst you may be “junking” that you think may be of personal value to me please email me -I would be more than happy to consider it. Thanks.

The final page of this book is a symbolic reminder of “Kristallnacht” -The Night of the broken glass” (hence the mica representing the shattered glass) and the burning of the books.

To complete the genocide of entire peoples the Nazis wanted to burn all traces of Jews, world wide.
The same cannot be said of others persecuted and killed by the Nazi regime. I promise I will expand on this issue in the future as I am about to embark on a piece related to this topic.

The words I chose come from a thrice daily prayer which says the following...

Because You (G-d) hear the prayers of your people, the people of Israel, with mercy. Blessed be G-d, who hears our prayers!

I will leave you to ponder that insertion of mine.
this .


Sue said...

I'm just going to once again simply say thank you with all my heart.

Sam Marshall said...

Your work is amazing and the thoughts and feelings behind the art are so powerful. I can't understand why these events occured or why they continue to occur in so many countries in many subtle and not so subtle ways. Thank you for sharing this.

Cindy Dean said...

Your art brings emotion to me everytime I see it. You create such beautiful pieces. I make my 16 year old daughter read your posts too as I think they are much more effective in teaching about the holocaust than her history class. I think that if you feel something you are much more likely to learn from it. And that is what your pieces do. Make you feel.

Kristen Robinson said...

Judy my friend you know how your work moves me and the words that are in my heart. Each piece you share with the world stirs emotions and feelings like no other. Another increcible piece of artwork that is an amazing tribute and an instilling reminder never to forget.

Cindy In Carolina said...

Thank you for sharing.

Kim S. Owens said...

I so appreciate your work!!! Viewing each piece is a truly spiritual experience - for me. I am in awe....
You record a truly horrible time in human history with such grace and care. While the topic is quite disturbing, you give it a beauty that cannot be defined or avoided. Every piece belongs in a museum!! Your work is key to us never forgeting what we are capable of doing to each other.

I am so pleased to be enrolled in your class at Art and Soul in Portland!! Thanks for sharing your vision with us.

Sue said...

I hope to see your art travel to museums around the world someday as we all need the messages it brings to us. The one I hear loudest is .............Don't stand by and let it happen again... feeling bad is not enough. Write world leaders, donate, talk about it with people, The people in Darfur and other countries are our neighbors, our friends our brothers and sisters.

Debby said...

This is so amazing, another truly stunning piece that speaks volumes. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

shirley mccutcheon said...

I have been away for a couple of weeks, but just read all of the posts I missed.
Again, you have amazed me with your layers and layers of meaning.
The emotion sits on the surface, and is so powerful.
thank you for posting these works.
ps. I am trying to enroll in your Portland class - and am keeping my fingers crossed that I get in.

Steph said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Judy !

Ro Bruhn said...

More brilliant work Judy, it must me so gut wrenching creating such pages, knowing it's actually happened, will we ever learn.

Jen Crossley said...

What saddened me Judy is that this is not a made up story but real life. It is heart rendering your work is so powerful. You are indeed a brilliant story teller and with people like you may we never forget this shameful time

vintage moon studio said...

I have learned so much from your artwork and all of the explanations behind each piece. There is such a horrible beauty to it... a powerful message of remeberance to all of us. xox Deb

Leslie said...

You just continue to awe us, and we will continue to run to your blog every time you post something else.

I am always so impressed with your work Judy -- powerfully, tragically beautiful!

Kim said...

'But we all deal with tragedies' , unquote. It seems you've dealt with a lot since I was here last , for the posting of the collaborative w/Michael. I still think it's hard - but it's good that you reach out and touch them , hold them again for a little while. They deserve that and I hope they know we hold them close too.

Anonymous said...

your work is absolutely stunning....in every sense of the word...it seems divinely inspired. God bless you.

thealteredpage said...

So powerful it is almost overwhelming. Thank you for documenting these events in such a sensitive and exceptional way.

Lissy said...

The depth of meaning in your work is amazing Judy...that it is real makes it even more precious than just wonderful artwork on the surface

azirca said...

You're amazing Judy, such beautiful and powerful work.

Janine said...

Once again Judy, more beautiful heart rendering work. Your artwork is not just beautiful, but a means for you to remember/teach others of the facts... xoxo

Sue T, England said...

I've often viewed your work and I'm so in awe of the attention to detail and commitment that shines through in your work. I'm a bit of a novice with altered books, and your work both intimidates and inspires me at the same time!!
It must be amazing to have an outlet for your creativity and to inspire so many people worldwide.
Best wishes from Spring-time England,

Sue Tunney x

Karen Owen said...

Judy! Another beautiful, poignant, powerful work! Thank you for preserving and honoring these memories. I know it can't always be easy emotionally. May the blessings of the Lord be upon you - I believe they are!


Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Judy.... everyday... I thank God for life and the beauty of nature and the simple pleasures of hearing birds sing, watching the flowers bloom... feeling the breeze in my hair and on my face. These are my inspiration, but these seem so small and insignificant when I visit your blog and listen to your stories.

Thank you for sharing!

Kathryn and Joy said...

Your work and contribution continue to amaze me.
Can't wait to see ya!!

Pearl Maple said...

Thank you for sharing, your creativity and the story that weaves the many little peices together as meaningful look into history.

Liz Berg said...

You have a truly masterful way of bringing to life those lost. The Holocost is not just about a group of people, it is about specific people. Your skill at helping us to remember is awesome. I really appreciate the fact that you explain details to those of us who are not Jewish. Thank you so much for doing this very difficult work.

Christie said...

This medium and this artist have come together to express these events in a way I could have never imagined otherwise. Thank-you for giving me insight into this tragedy. Touching and painful, but beautifully expressed.

Judy Keefe said...

Wow...I can't explain how I feel when reading and seeing this piece. It breaks my heart to know (not that I didn't know before) what despicable things one human could do to another.

Your work makes me picture the events. I so wish I could touch and feel the pieces. Thank you for sharing them.

Redness said...

Again you've observantly captivated and enthralled Judy ... thank you for being so generous.xx

Karen Cole said...

Beautiful, Judy.
Your family must be overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.

Beth Norman said...

I don't know how to approach leaving a comment. Usually our comments are with excitement as we pour over the talented artist. I guess it is with a deep heart that I pour over the beauty of your book. Your creation is well done in the fact that it makes the reader have a heavy heart for what tragedy was bestowed upon those sent to concentration camps. You should be proud of this outstanding piece of art! It is done so well.

Lynn said...

Judy, I continue to be deeply moved by each new piece you share here. Thank you for making this a life work.It is such an honor you do for your family, those lost and those alive today.
I will return here to look again, as the details deserve closer scrunity. I will as I continue to do share this with my friends, Jewish and otherwise too.
Thanks again Judy. I so admire your work.

Rebecca said...

breathtaking and humbling

Cre8Tiva said...

wow...i have missed so much lately...thank you for being supportive...hugs and happy st. paddy's day...rebecca

ginny said...

This book is amazing and so are you. Thank you for sharing this with us and thank you for the explanations of that which we might not know.

Lisette said...

Your images are powerfuk and so is your artistic voice. Art is an amzing tool that help everyone see what under usual circumstances they wouldn't be able to. Thank you for having the courage to follow your voice. Lisette

Marcie said...

So hard to find words to express my appreciaton for the work you're doing. Being a child of a holocaust survivor myself - I think that you can look at this so closely - is truly admirable and impressive.
I'm both appreiciative and totally awestruck. Your words. Your images. The thoughtful effort put into the final product.

Mim said...

wow. amazing amount of research and work.
wow again, and thank you for taking such time to share this with us.

Sea Dream Studio said...

Thank you for sharing your astonishing work. I am very touched by the incredible depth of meaning in each element. I am deeply moved by the way you have honored those lost and forever scarred by The Holocaust. For some reason the fabric bits are what touched me the most. I think, perhaps, because we wear fabric next to our bodies. The striped cooncentration camp uniform fabric was hard to look at, but so evoked (for me) thoughts of all those men, women & children huddled beneath those thin stripes.
Thank you again for this beautiful work.
take care~dale

Barbara said...

History comes alive when you commemorate the dead with your spectacular work, Thanks thanks thanks

Jacqui israel said...

wow...what an amzing testament to you and the times you shared and explained. The research and time is so so well spent in the compilation of these amazing amazing pieces..... who knew you were quietly working on these pieces. What a credit. Tahnk you...Its important work and I am glad you present this so incredibly and so incisively. It is not only beautiful but touching and evocative..... and we say never again!