Tuesday, February 5, 2008

To Break A Butterfly - The Artwork of Dave Anderson

Tonight I went to The Cawein Gallery in Forest Grove on the Pacific University campus to see the artwork of Dave Anderson, a Vernonia, Oregon, resident.
Anderson's exhibit included collage and book art that showed the art, writing and poetry done by the children who were prisoners at the Terezin Concentration Camp in Germany during the 1940s.
His work is amazing! I was so sorry to only find out about it two days before the show ends on Feb. 7. I encourage all my friends in the area to go see it. Directions to the campus are at Pacific University's Web site.
The work illuminates these tragic events and forces us to remember the loss of these innocent children. All the works are truly poignant.
There was a small violin set into a box that looked as if it were made from metal. The strings on the violin were fashioned from "barbed wire" and on a piece of wood that held the strings - somewhere that only the person playing the instrument might see - there was a small picture of a woman and tiny printing that said "You are my music."
There was a terrific quote, hand-lettered on one side of the canvas that said, "A tone once struck has a life too long for hearing." I hope Anderson's artwork causes many to remember far, far into the future.
He has, I think, actually reproduced some of the children's art (they look like the real thing) and incorporated them into books and collage pieces. One marvelous book was hidden inside a wooden music box chest. You could wind the music box, open the chest and turn the pages of the book while "Lara's Theme" played. This chest was mounted sideways onto a canvas with other collage items on it.

If you aren't familiar with Terezin, it was supposed to be a "model camp" the Germans had for these children, so the world thought they were being well cared for. (I suppose the Red Cross could visit here and see them being well treated. Check my facts, though. It's getting late at night here.) All the while the children endured horrible living conditions in this ghetto. Almost all of the children who came through Terezin, perhaps 15,000, died during the Holocaust. There is an article on Friedl Dicker, the art teacher who worked with some of the children at Terezin here.
I hope you enjoy the "Broken Passover" piece. I finally worked up enough nerve to ask if I could take a photo of it. Through a friend I have asked the artist if I could post it and have gotten the OK. He doesn't have a Web site ... but should! Click on it to enlarge it and you can read for yourself what the picture represents. Anderson has highlighted the drawing with the broken china pieces. A very significant addition.
I hope to talk more with the artist about his book art and collage techniques. Goodnight and sleep tight. - femminismo


Q said...

Thank you for this post. Honoring the children is so important! May we never forget.
I am looking forward to reading your journal and getting to know you. I love your art.
Thank you again for this post.

Tammy said...

I with I had thought to let you know about this when I first heard about it. I did think of you and thought it would be something you would like, but....
Anyway, for more about Dave Anderson, here is a link to a story in our local newspaper. Choose the February 2008 Issue....http://vernoniasvoice.com/archives.htm

Tammy said...

Jeanne, just when I was going to point out a typo in the second sentence of your post, I saw my typo in the second word of my comment. I meant to say "WISH", not 'with'. It's the fingers getting ahead of the brain again!