The Journey

 


The Journey, Assemblage on Wood Panel  was inspired by the move of my parents Phyllis and Rudolph Hernandez  from Wichita, Kansas to St. Augustine, Florida in the summer of 2014. It  was during this move that my father, a World War II veteran spoke again  of his experience overseas. It became clearer that one day my father’s  story would be gone and therefore I felt a sense of urgency to create a  work of art that spoke of the history of WWII, and the atrocities’  encountered by those who were Jewish. That fall I began to read more about  WWII and found a very interesting book regarding the plight of the  Jewish people and all who sacrificed their lives to end the  extermination. I began to disassemble the book, roll up its pages, seal,  then attached to a wood panel as an attempt to preserve the history and  tell a story. It was during this disassemble process I  started to remember horrific stories told by friends of my parents,  Meyer and Manya Korenblit both Holocaust survivors. One time in  particular I remember our families sharing a meal and listening to their  stories of survival. What has stayed with me since the early 1970’s was  seeing their tattoos. And as a teenager I could not image such hate and  still can’t to this day. The Kornblits’ were the subject of  “Until We Meet Again,” a book that chronicled their experience in Nazi  death camps. The book was written by the couple’s son, Michael Kornblit.  Meyer Kornblit, also known as Majir Kornblit, was born in Hrubieszow,  Poland, in 1923. He was imprisoned in eight Nazi concentration camps  during World War II, and was one of fewer than 200 people who survived  from his hometown of 8,500 Jews. After our meal at the home of Mr. and  Mrs. Kornblits, my parents and I continued to listen to more stories of  their escape. It was their story of crawling only at night that inspired  the use of wire as a form of containment. Yet within the wire  assemblage there is movement and freedom. And within the largest wire  circular vessel is a page wrapped tight which then took on the image of a  scroll or Mezusah. The ribbon found traveling through the  art work may appear at first blush soft and beautiful but is actually a  material that represents the children who were also the victims of hate. On the revere side of The Journey, 2014  was previously a completely separate work called “Containment”. Due to  the immediacy of the desire to express my emotions for creating The  Journey, I needed a sturdy structure and I did not have time to order an  additional panel or stretcher. Therefore, I selected a finished  painting that I completed in my studio earlier in the year. Containment had bold elements of color  and movement. Even the work’s title seemed most appropriate for the  foundation upon which the new piece would be created. The oil on wood  panel, with its representative images of fire was perfectly matched to  accept another painting on its opposite side. Containment currently does not exist, it had been covered with acrylic paint.