MY MOTHER, MY MUSE

As an only child, I was brought up by a single parent. My mother, Anne, took the role of guardian, friend, companion, teacher and most importantly for me, role model. Anne overcame all obstacles - poverty, illness, unhappiness - and taught me that every moment counted.

Much of my work utilises the stories my mother has relayed, both orally and in her writing. The words have been sewn into garments replicating her original 19040s jacket, gloves and hats and then etched onto zinc plates or stamped into wafer boards. 

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REPAIR, RESTORE 

Fires burn, trees melt – threatening their very existence

So it has been for over 60 million years in this sunburnt country

Nature’s wonder to behold – against all odds, life lingers in the carbon desecration

Our venerable trees endure scarring but lose not life itself

Deep within their mighty limbs are reserves of buds for rebirth

as if secretly stored, energy unleashed – our trees are born again

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IDENTITY, MEMORY AND MANIPULATION  

Memories reside in all the places I have lived - born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, schooled in New York and then long periods in Buenos Aires, London, Wellington and Israel, eventually settling in Sydney in 1984. 

Looking back at one’s past unleashes wonderful memories - of a world full of innocence, joy and beloved family.

I have chosen the square formatted plate to represent old photographs.

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PASSED / PRESENT

Once was……

Bountiful abundance of billabongs, rivers and marshes

Sustaining indigenous communities

Plants and food nourished by the fertile soil

Swans, pelicans, cranes and curlews cradled in its bosom

A place where crows met

 

Does one now lament the loss 

Grieve the past

Or embrace what beauty now beholds

The flowing Murrumbidgee

The gentle trees warming its banks

The new crows 

The new meeting place

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‘Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory.

Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember.

We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.’

Lewis Benedictus Smedes, 1921 – 2002, Professor Emeritus of Theology & Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary

 

Lotte Weiss was a Holocaust survivor.

She never forgot the horrors of her three years of internment at Auschwitz and Birkenau.

 

Yet it was her immense life force that propelled her through the torture and devastation enveloping her.

Her inherent integrity and morality remained steadfast.

And it was her capacity for goodness, kindness and love which never faltered throughout the misery 

and beatings she endured, to give her the strength and the will for survival.

 

Lotte was a blossom not crushed by the Nazis.

Through her weekly passion as a volunteer guide at the Sydney Jewish Museum for 25 years

Lotte proved that she believed in miracles.

 

Lotte Weiss was my mother-in-law.

Lotte had related these stories of unbelievable and unmentionable horror during the past 47 years.

Her memory had remained razor sharp. Her words flowed without hesitation.

Her voice was calm. There was no bitterness or anger.

 

In 2003, Lotte documented her experiences, in her book, MY TWO LIVES. Her first life began in November 

1923 and ended in March 1942. Her second began May 1945.

She changed the memory of her past into a hope for her future.

 

Through my journey of MY TWO LIVES I have found that there has been so much to interpret.  

The choices I have made reflect the passages that highlight Lotte’s courage to withstand 

all that she had endured – the miracles and her memories.

 

Lotte Weiss 1923 – 2021

May her blessed Memory live with us all, forever.

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2065 -  A HEALED MEMORY

A FLEETING BREEZE 

"Grass withers, flowers fade

Indeed, man is but grass"

(Isaiah 40.7)

 

How fleeting human presence is in the journey of history - a defiant declaration of the triumph of human spirit and spirituality of the land. 

 

The Pilbara region in Western Australia contains rocks formations that are 2.7 billion years old, etched and eroded into spectacular gorges by the once explosive forces of water.

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