“Nine Faces of Women,” Susan Schrott, 2010, textile, 42″ x 58″
Apposite in overall conception to Gelman’s sculpture, extending the family yet further but focusing on it through a gendered lens, “Nine Faces of Women,” by Susan Schrott, from Shelter Island, NY, depicts bright faces, very much alive—each suffused with color and “framed” in strips of black—in a large textile hanging. These are all faces inspired by members of the artist’s family, some alive and some long gone. She views these wide-eyed visages—of “women who are strong, confident, and possess a unique beauty”—strewn across a boldly pigmented field overrun with rococo patterns of quilted texture that are intended to suggest the endless tendrils of a tree of life, as offering a hope for the continuity of both family and community. The family tree is a tree of life to those who converse with its branches and blossoms through unfiltered time.
If Weinstein’s second piece reminds us that not every turn toward the personal and familial is connected to historical narratives, other works, like those of Gelman and Schrott, underscore the principle that neither are those turns necessarily twisted in a negative direction. This doesn’t mean that, brought to life through the instrumentation of memory, they are not reshaped by that most exquisite but flawed of human instruments. Jewish identity, like human identity overall, is fraught with memory and its re-considerations and re-visions of historical, familial and personal details.
Susan Schrott is an artist, Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor who divides her time between New York City and Shelter Island where she has her art studio. As a textile artist she synthesizes her life experiences into deeply personal yet uplifting images. The majority of her artwork features strong, joyful women, trees of life and abstract pieces of art. Exquisite hand dyed fabrics, intense threadwork, embellishments such as crystals and beads add visual texture and depth. Her award winning artwork has gained critical attention and has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions as well as museums and venues around the country. Her “Sunface” was featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. Her artwork appears in permanent installations in Israel, numerous private collections and has been selected for art and mental health publications. To learn more about Susan, visit her website www.susanschrottartist.com. Be sure to follow her on Instagram @SusanSchrottTherapist.