120cm x 120cm, acrylic on canvas. See below for other images.
|Passover new paintings by Hélène Carroll
Idiom Studio March 26 April 26 2003
Memories of the food she ate as a child, and the importance of ritual feasts, inspired the latest exhibition by Wellington artist Hélène Carroll.
"My parents were secular Jews," she says, "held in the ghettos and camps of Nazi-occupied Poland during the Second World War. When they cooked for feasts such as Passover they followed their parents traditional dishes. I realised how traditional food could be used to comfort people and fill the gaps of grief, dislocation and loss."
Hélènes exhibition is based on the Biblical story of the Passover, when Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery under the Pharoah in Egypt to freedom in the promised land. The ten plagues sent by God to the Egyptians are shown in a series of ceramic wall plaques, while miracles such as the burning bush and the parting of the Red Sea appear in large paintings.
The exhibition coincides with the feast of Passover, celebrated this year in early April, when Jewish people throughout the world remember the journey by preparing special dishes such as chicken soup and salted eggs. Some of Hélènes works incorporate the actual recipes for traditional Passover dishes.
"Why did I choose the Passover? Of all the Jewish festivals, this one has
everything for an artist. Its an incredibly gutsy narrative which has always seemed to me to lend itself to visual reinterpretation."
Zachar is a Hebrew exhortation to remember. Through this exhibition Hélène recalls her relatives, many of whom died in the Holocaust, and passes on their memory. "Replicating dishes from departed loved ones whom I never knew makes me feel incredibly close to them."
For more information, photographs of artworks or to interview the artist, contact Mark Derby, ph. (04) 939 1215 or (027) 279 049, Idiom Studio, 26 Elizabeth St, Mt Victoria, Wellington