Selection is one of textile artist Caren Garfen’s rather powerful pieces that can be seen in the latest Cultivate on-line group show Deflect, Selection featured alongside images of an equally powerful piece called Star Witness and today is Holocaust Memorial Day day here in the UK, it seems like a fitting day to look just a little closer at Caren’s art and hopefully point you in her direction
In the words of Caren, “Selection focuses on innocent people who were murdered during the Holocaust because they were Jewish. The work is an avowal of remembrance, but also a reminder that antisemitism did not cease when World War II ended. Today, antisemitism is proliferating and Jewish people are still being killed because of their religion. On closer examination of ‘Selection’ there are names, histories and photographs of some of those lost in the 20th as well as the 21st century.
Selection details – Measurement: 126cm x 76cm x 1cm (dimensions variable) Process: Hand stitch Materials: Cotton, silk threads, 108 vintage ophthalmic lenses, 108 miniature picture frames, photographs
Once again, in Caren’s own words, “Star Witness has been created to highlight the rise in 21st century global antisemitism. In-depth research has been carried out on the politics of Europe in the 1930s, the rise of Nazism, the Holocaust, and contemporary antisemitism.
Star of David cloth badges, which were used in Europe to isolate and denigrate individuals because of their religion, have been replicated using dyed and hand printed cotton, the 600 individual stars each representing 10,000 Jewish people who died in the camps. Stars also represent others who were targeted because of their beliefs or sexuality. Each one has been painstakingly hand stitched or printed with historical and contemporary research as well as personal stories of those who survived the devastation”.
“Caren Garfen is an artist specialising in textiles and painstaking hand stitching creating carefully considered pieces with profound messages. Caren’s interest has been in gender politics and women’s issues in the twenty-first century. She has concentrated on specific themes such as work/life balance and dieting/the body. For four years she researched and created artworks relating to the devastating world of eating disorders. However, in 2019, Caren changed direction and is now examining the shattering rise in global antisemitism. As is her approach, she will delve into all areas of enquiry, trying, once again, to make sense of our complex and problematic world”.