Hidden In Plain Sight: Limited Edition Artist Book

It seems that the essential impulse in working at all is to rehaunt your own house, or to allow what  haunts you to have a voice, to chart what is deeply private and etched on the soul, and find form and  structure for it.
Colm Toibin

About the Series

We all live with our past. For most it is known. For me there were many unknowns. My desire to know my personal history was actually hidden in plain sight.

It was the letters, in their airmail envelopes, which I found by accident in 2009. They were discoveredduring my mother’s move from her home of more than half a century. In the attic, among the clutter of  everyday things she had saved, were dozens of pale, fragile envelopes full of letters from her parents postmarked Berlin 1939-1941. My mother and her brother had been sent to Memphis, Tennessee, by their parents on themorning of Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938. Their parents were to come later but became trapped in Europe,  where they perished. The letters reveal their desperate attempts to escape Germany and then Latvia. They elucidate the details of the lives of grandparents I never knew, and they introduced me to my mother as a young  woman, seen through their eyes. This discovery propelled me to delve deeper into a history, which I had never felt permission to explore.

After having their words translated, I was inspired by this poignant correspondence to re-trace their script and in so doing to map their journey. I began to close the distance between my life and theirs. I recoveredand preserved a lost generation, whose ruptured lives are now linked to mine. What I also found were life and  beauty in the handwriting itself. Their script became my art, reflecting the magnificence and melancholy of their lives. Although this book reflects a personal journey, I hope it will inspire others to explore their historyand to know who they are through the lives and experiences of those you came before them.

More from the Hidden In Plain Sight Series

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