Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Penance Art

On the 8th night of lights, I mentioned penance. Being sorry for what you have done. There are many things that cannot be undone, but I do think we can create art in memory of, or to honor the event. I know that the Holocaust happened before I was born. But the one single fact that still bothers me is this. America could have dropped a single bomb on the train tracks to each of the camps.....and put an end to the deaths. Why didn't we do that? One bomb per track. That's all it would have taken.

While I will never know the answer to that question....I know that I can create art in honor of the memory of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.....especially the children.

Below is a photo of my piece titled "Dance". This is my entry for Amaco's call for art for the Butterfly Project - and it will eventually be part of the Holocaust Museum in Houston where 1,500,000 butterflies will honor the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. The butterflies will comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2012, for all to remember. I used the Friendly Plastic technique from night 6 of my Eight Nights for the whole project - it is 8" x 10".

and I wrote the poem in the center of the project:

The Children's Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem today
Is more powerful and moving than any words can say....
A million shining stars in the firmament around me,
A million flickering lights dancing everywhere I see.
Infinitely dark and somber, a shofar blows a tune -
A child's name rings out,,, my tears come too soon.
A generation before me took a million lives and more
But I still have to question, "What was it all for?"
All the Jewish children who died for no just reason,
I bow my head in shame for it cannot be undone.
They never saw the butterflies, they didn't have a chance.
"Never forget...never again" - my constant song and dance.

Penance Art. I think it's good for the soul!


Anonymous said...

Another amazing piece of art, Jen. I've been to a death camp in Germany and have heard (literally) the sounds of those killed. It haunts me today.

Shoshi said...

Jen, that is absolutely beautiful... Like you, I have stood in the children's memorial at Yad Vashem and was moved beyond words...

So far I have made one butterfly! I am hoping to do some more once I get a bit of time. I would like to do them in many different media but with the theme "Z'chor" - "Remember."