What does the color GREEN symbolize in my artwork?
Green theme fused glass tiles adhered to a plexiglass mosaic panel
Green is the color of nature and the environment, a symbol of health, youth, and fertility; it is also associated with money, ambition, greed, and jealousy. This series of fused glass tiles adhered to a plexiglass mosaic panel is about a journey alongside a forest. Whoever walks among the vast, tall trees in a forest tastes something of what Dante in the epic journey Divine Comedy calls the entrance into hell.
I visited Poland, my father’s birthplace, a few times, and I was always amazed at how vast the forests were. Apparently, 30% of Poland’s land is covered by forest. During the Holocaust, Jews were transported to concentration camps on cattle trains. The location of all concentration camps was in Poland. Entire families stood shoulder to shoulder with no food or water. I often imagined my father in those horrible trains; what did he feel, and what did he see if he peered out through a slit in the wood panels? The image that comes to my mind is that of endless green forests and blue sky. The other related image I have is that of those who hid in the woods. Life in a state of danger, fear, and uncertainty, always escaping from place to place, suffering from hunger, thirst, and cold.
Thus, I believe that Poland will never be a beautiful country, although some of its flat landscape, covered by sweeping amounts of green forests, has a melancholy charm. I edited a 4-hour long movie for an exhibition at the Holocaust Museum. The film, The Train from Auschwitz – A Journey from Shame to Self-Realization, is about a train ride through the typical snowy landscapes and forests found in the Polish countryside, woven together with imagery representing horrific memories of concentration camps.