Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Unveiling My Portraits.

Today is YomHaShoa. It's been three years since I started this project. But I was finally able, last week, to publicly display my portraits of Irish Holocaust survivors at the Irish Jewish Museum in Dublin at the old Synagogue. It was a wonderful event and I’m so glad I could be part of it. The four paintings had to come home with me for safe keeping but will be available for exhibitions for the rest of the year. 

There is a temporary exhibition at the Museum, of sketches and prints,  for the next four Sundays. 

Taking with Jan Kaminski, one of the survivors I painted.
Photo credit: Fionán O'Connell

The temporary display at the Museum.
Photo credit: Fionán O'Connell

Holocaust Survivor Tomi Reichenthal with his Portrait.
Photo credit: Fionán O'Connell

The Four Oil Portraits.
Photo credit: Fionán O'Connell

This is a tribute to some of those who survived and built their lives in Ireland. Four members of the community immortalised in portraiture, whose lives have served as an example that the human spirit can stand against brutality. Their portraits tell the story.

A portrait makes people take notice. We automatically ask ourselves who the person was and why an artist chose to paint them. My goal in painting these four individuals was to provoke exactly these questions. If one person sees these paintings and wonders, asks or reads then I will feel I have done something worthwhile.

There may be a time in the future, when the war is no longer in living memory, when we no longer identify with our history. But a portrait can last for centuries and a story can live forever.

Zoltan Zinn-Collis as a child. Pastel sketch. 
Edit Zinn-Collis as a child. Pastel sketch. 
We will not forget you.

The statistics lie like bones
They blow on the wind
like a flock of birds they reshape themselves
into something we can understand
a seven digit number.

We will not forget you.

We are not ink on paper

we are not to be quantified in ledgers
and be it in their millions

or one alone

every soul
 should be remembered.

We will not forget you.

One in the line at the corner of his eye

Two in the curve of her mouth when she smiled
Three in the hands that lifted a child

Four in the movement of shoulders at work
Five in the eyes that saw

Six in the mouth that spoke.

We will not forget you.

Diana Muller 2015.

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