While I was working on this piece, I had a strong sense that the page was an actual place I could step into. In this place, I could connect with my female ancestors and honour them. I could feel the flow of love that has come down through time to me and also that travels back through time towards them.
I didn’t have any photos of my grandmothers that I wanted to use, so I spent quite some time searching for photos online. It was an uncanny experience — I found photos of women who were not my ancestors but who could have been; their expressions and poses evoked something so familiar. As I continued to work on the piece, I began to connect to these women as if they actually were my ancestors.
The floating woman in the background reminded me very much of some of the paintings by Chagall, especially as I come from a line of orthodox Jewish women. I found myself introducing quite a bit of colour, inspired by his paintings, and I felt encouraged to include some of the Jewish symbols I grew up with – the Sabbath candles, the challah bread, the wine.
This spread was created for the ‘Claiming the Female’ class in the Totems online art course. I have been enjoying the course so much! Even though there’s only one class left, I know I will be revisiting and diving deeper into these themes over the coming months.
You can see more pages from my art journals here.