My great-grandmother, whom I was close with growing up, was born on a farm in Poland in 1904. When she was ten years old, she and her family became shrouded in the brutality of World War I. The farm they lived and worked on became the stage of the Eastern Front. As a child, she was an eyewitness to the horrors of The Great War. We heard snippets of what they had to do to survive, but it was difficult for her to talk about the war. It was as awful as you could imagine.
She left Poland with her own young family in 1934, just after the Nazis came to power and just before World War II. The rest of her life was lived in peace in Canada.
She died in 2000, at age 96. I always thought about the scope of her life, about the profound changes the world went through over the near-century she was here. And now I am left wondering how she would think of the current situation.
I collect these vintage and antique books that I use in my paintings. This particular piece has a Victorian-era philosophy text long side classic Penguin paperbacks.
The ideas and stories in these books are not old, useless and out of date. Instead, it would seem that everything old is new again and in the wrong way — as evidenced in yet another terrifying war in Eastern Europe.