Scroll Paintings 2011
Each panel is 36” x 70”
The Series was created with for invitation to show at the Harold Washington Library whose display case is perfect for large works. I created a multi-layered image for each scroll which has a large natural setting above, and a symbolic narrative of an event in my life that relates to the Hebrew text from the Torah below it. The natural setting at the top expresses the emotional meaning of the painting. The Scrolls should be read from right to left as the text is read in Hebrew. They are entitled The Scroll Paintings not only because they can be rolled up but also because the Torah itself is a scroll and is considered a sacred object.
Scroll Painting Two: "They were further enraged by his dreams and by his words." Genesis 37:8
The lushness of Starved Rock State Park in spring, is my depiction of Joseph's dreams and words. You can see trees struggling to hang on to the cliffs in the same way as Joseph struggled for acceptance. The narrative below depicts a high schooler in a colorful jacket (like Joseph) surrounded by bullying students (Joseph's brothers) in a classroom.
Scroll Painting One: "You must leave your land, your birthplace and your father's house for the land that I will show you." Genesis 12:1
The setting is Ein Gedi, a nature preserve in Israel, which has soothing mountains in a desert terrain. The narrative is based on my arrival from Israel to Cleveland in 1967. I was 8 years old and had just been in the Six Day War in Israel only to arrive to race rioting in Cleveland, from an ancient land to a modern city. These are the contrasts I am emphasizing.
Scroll Paintings Five: "Elkanah knew his wife and G-d remembered her" I Samuel 1:19
The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon State Park is the setting for the difficulties of pregnancy, with precarious boulders resting atop seemingly impossible stone spires. In the narrative, it is a chain reaction that sets the birth in motion, all connected by the red umbilical cord of life.
Scroll Painting Four: "And my loyalty shall never waiver" Isaiah 54:10
The awe-inspiring Checkerboard Mesa at Zion National Park towers over the narrative. This immutable stone formation seems to never end, it is majestic beyond words. This is the perfect symbol for the union between two souls. The narrative is a joyous celebration surrounding the King and Queen newlyweds under the traditional Jewish wedding canopy. this wedding took place in Chicago's Anshe Emet Synagogue.
Scroll Painting Three: "And the people fought with Moses and they demanded "Give us water to drink." Exodus 17:1
Moses stands high above the people in Arches' Fiery Furnace. The unique formations of massive boulders eroded by millions of years of rain and wind impressed me as sacred. Moses seems enthralled by the beauty around him and oblivious to the people below who are raising their hands in protest. This touches on my twenties when I longed to find a comfortable social circle. I spent many evenings in Chicago's nightclubs, when maybe, I was really thirsting for spiritual sustenance.