Chaya’s Dream (Nightmare)
h 122 x w 178 cm (48” x 70”)
Wool, linen, cotton
Tapestry weaving in sections, tufting, soumak, assemblage
Chaya was my great-grandmother. She had to persuade her husband to leave Lithuania so that her five sons would not have to serve in the Tsarist army and to escape persecution. I imagine her looking up to the shingled roof of her house and dreaming of the new life, the life that saved her descendants from a nightmare. The tapestry is in the form of shingles, with their colour interspersed with the colours of the boat which would symbolically take them to Canada (see Scratching the Surface). The deep blue stripes represent a disintegrating tallis (prayer shawl).