13 January 2011
Christmas Gift from Jerusalem
On Christmas day my mother, whose home I was visiting, slipped into her office and came back with these objects in her hand. She set them down on the table in front of me and said, "Why don't you take these home with you? Your father and I brought them back with us from Jerusalem. Maybe they can help you with your woodblock print."
She then went on to tell me that she and my dad had picked up the stones and the bullet shell at the wailing wall in Jerusalem during a church trip in 1994. While they were on that trip, an American-born doctor, Baruch Goldstein, opened fire at a mosque in Hebron during Ramadan and killed 30+ Palestinians. From the window of their hotel in Jerusalem, where they were confined for a couple of days for their safety, my parents watched Palestinians throw rocks and fire rubber bullets on Jews who were praying at the wall. Afterward, my father picked up these rocks and the bullet casing.
The little cup is made from olive wood. It's a communion cup, a typical gift offered to Christian tourists.
I was really touched when my mother gave me these items. They now sit on the work table in my studio next to my carving bench, a stark reminder of the strife I'm trying to capture in this print.