Made for 'The Festival of Belonging' in Manchester, 'Dark Room' explored questions of identity and ownership of images through the installation of a selection of eleven photographs from the collection of The Manchester Jewish Museum.
Placed (as though drying in a photographer's darkroom) in an immersive dreamy environment, they were precariously hung together, uncurling gently to emphasise the capture of a fleeting moment. Local communities worked on a series of projects to explore the feelings they evoked, sharing stories and experiences of their own photographs, where both the history of the photographer and of the places or people photographed (as in the eleven selected photographs) had been lost or were unknown.
A small series of Plaster of Paris sculptures 'Dark Room Fragments' were shown outside the immersive room , reflecting on the details that, as Barthes describes, made a wounding when a particular part of a photograph 'pricks' the viewer.
Lodz Banquet 2019
'Lodz Banquet' developed in collaboration with the Centre of Jewish Studies at The University of Manchester. The '50 Objects Project' selected fifty objects from the John Rylands Collection of Jewish artefacts and I was invited to make a further selection of two pieces (working with the project team) and to respond to the encounter I had with them. The two objects - an Indian marriage contract and a lavishly illustrated scroll of Esther, became the focus of a new project that involved the local charity shops and a group of other women who made their own memory boxes, after working through ideas concerning ritual, 'curating' and loss.
'Lodz Banquet' is a celebration of women's lives - in this case three women from Lodz - our great grandmother Helena, and her daughters Tycia and Rusha, who may have sewn their own celebratory cloths and feasted at Purim. The story of Esther tells of the bravery and wit of Esther, who saves the Jewish people from harm. In the illustrated Italian scroll feasting and banquet scenes cover a substantial section of the scroll.
The embroidered cloths were 'found' textiles made by women whose stories were lost. In the piece my own stitches (copied to match) mingle with those made by those of unknown embroiderers. The histories of these lost women (who probably died in Auschwitz) are shared by us all.
A series of memory paintings concerned with the importance of touch. The gouache, ink and pencil pieces were made after discovering our mother’s photographs of swaddling blankets used to mark out the identity of my identical twin sister and myself. They were made during the research project I ran training young doctors in visual literacy in the Dermatology Research Centre at The University of Manchester (based at Salford Royal Hospital).
Oma Dreaming 2017 - present
A developing project exploring the connection between the desire to capture the 'spirit of the mass' in landscape and the nuances of feeling developing in the state of motherhood/grandmotherhood. The work sets out to create a visual language to celebrate new life, and threads of maternal experience.
The Wednesday Notes 2014
A collaborative project with Spurr House Day Centre, Bury, responding to collections of applied art collections from Bury Art Museum. A series of monoprints and paintings exploring responses to 'evocative' objects formed a pop up exhibition at the Millgate Centre Bury.
Lace and Longing 2012
A research project for Nottingham Trent University exploring the link between Nottingham lace designers post war and the archive of lace collections at NTU. The strong connection to lace though my mother's job as a lace designer resulted in a series of gouache paintings and drawings.
'Cornerworks' was a temporary installation of 180 laser prints at The Chapman Gallery, University of Salford, individually glued to the gallery wall for two weeks. It was made after a forensic examination of a faded family album, where the dark corners and edges of interwar photographs are recoloured and reimagined to suggest profound absences and losses. The suggestion of wallpaper references my great grandfather's family business in Germany, and the Langhammer wallpaper collection in Chemnitz.
Made on the steps of the Bundestag, the flag dances to the simple tune of a Yiddish lullaby.
Images of a collection of antique glass are overlaid by a conversation between mother and daughter about a piece of Bohemian glass that arrived as an engagement present in Nottingham from Chemnitz in 1953. From Bohemia explores the way domestic objects are a rich source for myth making and are charged with an energy that feeds our imaginations. The piece also asks questions about how family histories are transmitted and about the malleability of memory.
Filmed at the train station Friedrichstrasse in Berlin Palace of Tears explores how the present crosses over with the past. The piece suggests that memories are enmeshed in the fabric of the station that and we cannot escape from these, even after borders change, and the fabric of public buildings is renewed. These memories, present in windows tracks and walls, intersect with the voices of today’s travellers.
Touching on issues around memory, trauma and exile Her Tree depicts the silent folding of a cloth embroidered by three generations of women, including my grandmother, mother and sister. Originating in central Europe and embroidered at particular times in the women’s lives, such as during pregnancy or illness, the cloth has come to symbolise survival and celebration as well as separation and dispossession. Her Tree marks the connections between women and the passing on of knowledge and culture between generations
Apfel Strudel 2002
This series of A6 photographs was made as a text for the cafe wall at Cornerhouse, Manchester. They formed part of an exhibition "Conversations on the Subject of Feminism'. This piece is a celebration of a strong maternal bond; the sharing of stories during the peeling and wrapping of fruit.