21 March 2008

The 12 Tribes

This is the rather mammoth mixed media book that I started a while ago and have been very busy with of late.

It was photographed yesterday and shipped off to Artfest.

I can't even begin to tell you how complex it is.

Every element, colour, texture etc has a reason for being there

I made the entire book by hand, starting from the boards.

It took 2 days to bind and many trial efforts BUT after much angst it is complete.

The research probably took longer than making each element.

I will go into the finer details when I am back but wanted to give you a glimpse of it.

Be prepared there are alot of photos and so much colour!!!!!!!!!

Just briefly, there were 12 tribes of Israel in Biblical times.

They were the 12 sons of Jacob.

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Joseph.

Each tribe had their own coloured flag and emroidered on each flag was a symbol that represented the tribe.

Below is an image of the actual binding of the book

On the High Priests breastplate each tribe was alotted a different coloured precious stone, some that are today not in existance.
Some of you will wonder why it is that the stones I have used do not match the exact colour of the stones we recognise today.
There is much argument related to each stone and as we know, each stone comes in many a varied colour so please be aware that the colour I used was related to much research and in keeping with my interpretation of all the many factors that went into the long history of each tribe.

With that said, I hope you enjoy The 12 Tribes........


Symbol: The mandrake

Flag: Red

Stone: Ruby


Symbol: Town of Shechem

Stone: Topaz

Flag: green


Stone: Smaragd

Flag: a third white, a third black, and a third red

Symbol: the Urim and Thummim

The High Priest's (the Chief of the Chief of Rabbi's) breastplate


Stone: carbuncle
Flag: The heavens

Symbol: Lion


Stone: Sapphire

Flag: black like stibium

Symbol: Sun and moon


Stone: Pearl

Symbol: ship


Stone: Jacinth

Flag: sapphire

Symbol: serpent


Stone: Agate
Flag: Neither white nor black
but a blend of black and white

Symbol: A camp


Stone: Amethyst
Flag : Wine of a not very deep red
Symbol: A hind


Stone: Beryl

Remember the story/post where i told you about finding a book
called Treasures of the Earth?

Well this is where it was that amazing coincidence that spoke of the stones of the 12 Tribes.

Flag: Like Sandstone

Symbol: olive-tree


Stone: Onyx

Flag: Black

Symbol: Egypt and sons, the princes, Ephraim and Manasseh

Flag of Ephraim: A bullock

Flag of Manasseh: A Wild ox -

 The type mentioned biblically is not in existance any more.


Flag: Combination of all the 12 colours

Symbol: Wolf

(This is where the parchment came in)

Stone: Jasper

Hope you enjoyed all of that!!!

Thanks for all the comments on "Esh".

I am so so sorry that I have not been able to thank each and every one of you for your amazing comments - I promise I will soon - (feeling oh-so guilty) but please understand that I am

getting ready to leave and have 3 kids that need my attention too.

Thanks and cya soon.

19 March 2008

I dont have alot of time to explain every bit of symbolism as my time is very limited now.

I have spent days binding a mammoth book - it is so large it is overwhelming.
It took many attempts ans indeed so much frustration to come up with a binding that would hold the many assemblages.

But now it is complete and will be photographed tomorrow.

So please excuse the brief explanation but I wanted this post complete prior to me going to Artfest.


This is the book that fell on my foot when Michael and I were looking for elements to use in the piece.
Rather appropriate.
Behind the door hole is a cross bones which was the sign that greeted inmates at Auschwitz.

In the slide is a mini collage with an image of a gas canister used to murder the millions.

The back of the letter within the copper pocket.
Clearly visible is the Nazi insignia, opened by them, inspected and passed on - to no-one but the postman.
It was returned to Australia for the family had been killed.
My father and the group escaping. My father is on the left with the copper oval piece encircling his face.

The vintage photo holder which swings over the faces...
asking the question who survived...
who didn't.
An Auschwitz oven.
An image of a father and his children on their way to the concentration camps.
The transparency which is viewed from both sides, is a lone uniform worn by inmates of the camps, hanging.


This is the final book for this piece.
A simple but powerful image of a flame painted on top of a burnt book.
A flame of remembrance or
A flame symbolising the flames that flew from the crematoria.

From the Tempest,
Full Fathom Five.

My father, his sister and brother.
I always have found it fascinating that his body stance is positioned to his left,
Whereas his siblings were facing to the right.
yes it is a photo that makes me cry each time I look at it.
Just look at his brother snuggling right up to his plder brother.
Love lost!
And for what???
This piece was explained in Cloth Paper Scissors.

This is the lock, off which came the Star of David which is housed at the very front of the piece.
The word Shoah, the English translation means,
The Holocaust is stitiched atop the striped fabric.

The word remember at the top.

When I placed the lock over random German text little did I know the significance of the final element.
for the small hole made the German word for "I" appear.
I chose the antique lens with the -3 on purpose.
Remember the -3 members of the family killed.
But look at the word that appeared within the lens of the larger hole of the lock.
The word "Zuzzamen".
Meaning "together".
Bringing it all together.
Together, remember the Holocaust!
For me it became
I will remember the Holocaust 'together' with you.
Thankyou all for Remembering with me
thank you for your amazing comments.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Thank you.