As you look closer at Kate Hendrickson’s works on paper, you will see that there are bits of concealed Hebrew words peaking out and revealing themselves from their surrounding abstracted urban and natural environs. Her artwork explores and reconciles feelings of discomfort within revealing that Judaism is the faith she has chosen. Hendrickson hopes that these works on paper will help everyone feel more comfortable proudly expressing who they really are.
There is a history of hiding who you are. Before Constantine the Great, Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. They often used the symbol of a fish to signify Jesus because the Greek word for fish, Ichthys, is so close to the pronunciation for Jesus. This iconography continued into the Byzantine era. Similarly, Jews have concealed their faith for centuries by hiding symbols of their Judaism for fear of antisemitism. Crypto-Jews outwardly converted during the Inquisition but continued to practice their religion, disguising it ingeniously from the authorities. To this day, people are still masking who they are for fear of rejection.
My work explores my feelings about the search for comfort in revealing my faith. I converted to Judaism. I hope that my artwork helps everyone feel more comfortable in expressing who they really are.
I use stencils of Hebrew letters to create an underlayment structure upon which I build the composition. The word chosen is based on my interest in urban and nature environs. Color choices are made based on my feelings about the word. As I work with pastel, graphite and colored pencil the letters are concealed to the point where pieces of the letters and ghost images of them remain.
This Virtual Exhibit Is Available For Public Viewing
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