The Journey


The Journey, Assemblage on Wood Panel was inspired by the move of my parents Phyllis and Rudolph Hernandez from Wichita, Kansas to St. Augustine, Florida in the summer of 2014. It was during this move that my father, a World War II veteran spoke again of his experience overseas. It became clearer that one day my father’s story would be gone and therefore I felt a sense of urgency to create a work of art that spoke of the history of WWII, and the atrocities’ encountered by those who were Jewish.

That fall I began to read more about WWII and found a very interesting book regarding the plight of the Jewish people and all who sacrificed their lives to end the extermination. I began to disassemble the book, roll up its pages, seal, then attached to a wood panel as an attempt to preserve the history and tell a story.

It was during this disassemble process I started to remember horrific stories told by friends of my parents, Meyer and Manya Korenblit both Holocaust survivors. One time in particular I remember our families sharing a meal and listening to their stories of survival. What has stayed with me since the early 1970’s was seeing their tattoos. And as a teenager I could not image such hate and still can’t to this day.

The Kornblits’ were the subject of “Until We Meet Again,” a book that chronicled their experience in Nazi death camps. The book was written by the couple’s son, Michael Kornblit. Meyer Kornblit, also known as Majir Kornblit, was born in Hrubieszow, Poland, in 1923. He was imprisoned in eight Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and was one of fewer than 200 people who survived from his hometown of 8,500 Jews.

After our meal at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kornblits, my parents and I continued to listen to more stories of their escape. It was their story of crawling only at night that inspired the use of wire as a form of containment. Yet within the wire assemblage there is movement and freedom. And within the largest wire circular vessel is a page wrapped tight which then took on the image of a scroll or Mezusah.

The ribbon found traveling through the art work may appear at first blush soft and beautiful but is actually a material that represents the children who were also the victims of hate.

On the revere side of The Journey, 2014 was previously a completely separate work called “Containment”. Due to the immediacy of the desire to express my emotions for creating The Journey, I needed a sturdy structure and I did not have time to order an additional panel or stretcher. Therefore, I selected a finished painting that I completed in my studio earlier in the year.

Containment had bold elements of color and movement. Even the work’s title seemed most appropriate for the foundation upon which the new piece would be created. The oil on wood panel, with its representative images of fire was perfectly matched to accept another painting on its opposite side.

Containment currently does not exist, it had been covered with acrylic paint.

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