When honoring the passing of a loved one, it is a Jewish tradition to place rocks on a gravesite. Flowers die, but rocks are eternal and honor life and memory—a lone rock atop a headstone or a mound atop a concentration camp marker. Rocks are the foundation under our feet; the ones you see here come from significant sites around Portland where my ancestors lived and worked.
The repetitive acts of embroidery and wrapping create the punctum—the detail within a photograph that pulls you into it and which forms the basis for an emotional connection. Layers of embroidery—symbolic of my great-grandmother (and namesake), my grandmother and myself—are my contribution to my family archive.
Inspired and propelled by the Jewish mantra to “Never Forget”, this project honors my ancestral past through reclaiming its images, traditions and symbols. Through obsessive, meticulous labor and repetitive gestures, I explore and form deeper connections to my family history. To know your ancestors is to know yourself. An alternative family tree, Loose Ends is not about facts and knowledge, but about intimacy and understanding.