Friday, September 17, 2010

...their spirits rise dancing...

A Poem for the Grieving

Do not stand by my grave and weep,
for I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond’s glint on snow.
I am sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush.

Of quiet birds in circle flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
By Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932.

After finding this incredibly "soaring" poem written before World War II and connecting its content with the painting by TRUDY BABCHAK, I asked the aritst to comment on the overall intent of her work--a large piece measuring 84" high x 72" wide (7' x 6'), Survivors. We worked collaboratively to produce this feature.

Says Babchak:

"The painting started out as a tribute to survivors and victims of the Holocaust." Wiki-Answers states: The figure of 11 million people dead is often given but it is completely unclear where this figure comes from, and how it is calculated. It is far too low. One also encounters the range 11-17 million.

Babchak continues:

In their grief, two wise old ones (see 2 details, left) sit, bare-footed, contemplating the uselessness of the Holocaust and asking why “God” let it happen.

Trudy paused before walking to the painting and raising her arms up high, then continued:

"The painting symbolizes the spirits of the Holocaust survivors. From the ashes of human devastation, their spirits rise dancing into innocence and youth, then remain there--transformed." (Drawing, Gate at Auschwitz)

"During the time I was painting this piece, the World Trade Center was attacked and nearly 3,000 people died. Thus, my focus in the painting broadened with 9.11 to include the 2001 catastrophe that was admittedly on a smaller scale than the Holocaust, but, as one viewer noted: “… in our lives death and destruction are constant, no matter the scale…” Again, those same wise people who suffer for all wait in anguish, questioning the seemingly senseless losses. Although additional symbols were probably not needed, I did add an abstract border on both sides of the painting representing the towers’ windows."

Trudy Babchak is
Assistant Director
Columbia Center
for the Arts
6100 Foreland Garth
Columbia, Maryland 21046
She also teaches painting at the Center.

Photo of the artist by Denee Barr. Exhibit Reception
at the Columbia Art Center, during the 2010 Columbia Festival of the Arts.
I added the blue frame.

Some Maryland Exhibitions, 2002-2006

2006 Under My Skin, Collaborative Exhibit, Gallery 1448, Baltimore
2005 Erotic Art, Gallery 1448, Baltimore
2004 Art Maryland 2004, Howard County Center for the Arts, Ellicott City
2004 Solo Show, Lost and Found, Columbia Art Center, Columbia
2004 Solo Show, Family Reunion, Gallery 1448, Baltimore
2004 Resident Spring Group Show, Gallery 1448, Baltimore
2003 Singular Sensations, Columbia Art Center, Columbia
2003 Solo Show, Hide and Seek, PaperRockScissors Gallery, Baltimore
2002 Leaving Eden, Anne Arundel Community College, Annapolis
2002 Solo Show, Three Tall Women, Trudy Babchak Paintings, Center Stage, Baltimore
2001 1000 Words, PaperRockScissors Gallery, Baltimore
2001 Reverence and Exultation, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Baltimore
2001 Self, Columbia Art Center, Columbia
2001 Solo Show, Trudy Babchak Paintings, Morris Mechanic Theater, Baltimore
2001 Solo Show, Paintings by Trudy Babchak, River Mill Gallery, Oella
2000 Unearthed: Mercy Revealed, PaperRock Scissors Gallery, Baltimore
2000 Readings 2, River Mill Gallery, Oella
2000 Solo Show, Memento Mori, Louie’s Gallery and Cafe, Baltimore


Cause for Applause, Employee Recognition Award, Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD, 2006
Cause for Applause, Employee Recognition Award, Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD, 2005
Grand Prize, Howard Community College Student Show, Columbia, MD
3rd Place, The Big Show, Fells Point Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD
Blog feature content by Kay D. Weeks & Trudy Babchak
Photos of her painting, Survivors, KDW
Our thanks to Kaye Keeble for reviewing this feature
and providing a comment within the text about
the continuing nature of death and destruction.


Doreen said...

Trudy's paintings are beautiful and poignant. I can relate to the theme as well, as many members of my family were killed and victimized by the Holocaust. I feel that we--children and grandchildren--are the generations left to tell the stories, ask the questions, and transform it into art. (I have done so too, with poetry.)

Chaya said...

The paintings are very powerful...unbelievable depth and insight.

Caroline Gill said...

An amazing post, Kay and Trudy. Poignant and impressive.

Anonymous said...

Good evening,

Definitely gonna recommend this post to a few friends...