In 2019, I traveled to my grandparents’ hometown of Lodz, Poland. From 1940-44, my grandmother and her family lived in the Lodz Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland. There, I saw remnants of what was left behind, as many buildings from WWII remain intact today. In entryways and courtyards, where surfaces are marred by chipped paint and graffiti, I felt the gravity of the war and a material connection to my grandparents’ experiences.
My paintings explore the connections between familial memory, historical narratives, and contemporary culture, as they are embedded in the architectural surfaces of Lodz. These paintings focus on the entryway of Limanowskiego 48, my grandmother’s ghetto apartment. My paintings are a structure for memory, a house for my family’s experience within the history of this ghetto. In each painting, I return to this site, building new records of inquiry, excavation, and remembrance. I construct the final works from cut pieces of painted canvas, fragments of memory. The physical gesture of stitching embodies the labor of remembering and conjures a lineage of textile work in my family. In these works, I foreground memory as a discursive, material practice, where active remembering ensures memory’s place in the present.