The Ancestors, Drawings & Installations

The "Ancestors" is a series comprised of drawings, mixed media installations, and paintings produced between 1997 and 2003. The content speaks to the contradiction that exists between my affinity to my Jewish identity through culture, the comforts of family traditions and a sense of community and my rebellion against Judaism which lacks a universal, inclusive spiritual vision that embraces diversity and resonates with my own spiritual growth.

The first prayer in my daily prayer book reads, “Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast not made me a woman.”

The daily prayer book and the prayer shawl are only select examples of the male-authored texts, interpretations, rules and regulations that continue to govern Judaism. Progress towards an egalitarian spiritual partnership for men and women that is more consistent with the nature and roles of women in contemporary society is needed.

These drawings (25 in total) and the three mixed media installations are informed by my research into the origins of Judeo-Christian religion; a volatile period of history spanning 5000 years, when the nature of worship shifted from God and Goddess deities to monotheism (an invisible male God creating the universe). These installations are erected as altars, representing a recovery of a feminine, intimate space of spiritual connection. Hand held sculptures modeled after ancient sculptures believed to be the Hebrew Goddess Asherah, are placed at eye level. Textile floor cloths provide a place to stand and a prayer shawl printed with lace pattern designs, hangs from above. The daily prayer book, the bride’s daily prayer book and the King James Version of the Old Testament are embellished with lace, drawings and highlighted passages.