For Irena Sendler
h 121-129 x w 186 cm (48”-51” x 73”)
Wool, linen, metallic thread, cotton, ash keys (seeds of the ash tree)
Tapestry weaving, wefts over surface and interlaced, ash keys painted and attached to surface
Irena Sendler worked with others to smuggle 2500 children and babies out of the Warsaw Ghetto and to find foster families who hid them for the duration of the war. This tapestry is in her honour, since she did not get the recognition she deserved during her lifetime.
Ash keys (seeds of the ash tree) represent the children and babies Irena Sendler saved. There are approximately 2500 of them. They have been painted gold to show the importance of each life preserved. The grid over the surface of the lower part of the tapestry signifies the connections between her, her fellow members of the resistance group Zegota, the children and their foster families, and in a greater way, the connections between us all.
Some of the ash keys were gathered near the church in Edinburgh where my great-great-great-grandparents was married, another connection.