Home 6 Hedy Zahalka, 2006 by Anne Zahalka

image of Home 6 Hedy Zahalka 2006 by Anne Zahalka

Artist's statement

This portrait, based on Whistler's painting of his mother Arrangement in Grey and Black, was taken in my mother's home in Sydney. It joins an earlier series of work titled How Jewish is Your Home? which explored Jewish identity as it is expressed or defined through the inhabitants and materiality of different homes. My mother sits in the chair in which she spends much of her time, surrounded by her much-loved artworks and possessions. The letter holder with the word 'shalom' is the only element defining her Jewish identity and reappears in an earlier portrait sitting on the wall above. As in much of my portrait work, I have drawn on the pictorial conventions of 17th century Dutch painting, using elements from their compositions while investing them with references to contemporary life. The use of still life provides new symbolic meanings and can be seen in the other photographic works on the wall.