my mother playing Ophelia in a fantasy field of flowers
800x600        1024x768
Hella Ophelia
43" x 62" x 1" in
<< back         view
Medieval tapestries were usually political or religious parables clothed in classical allusions. I use this ancient art form with modern symbols and metaphors to circumvent the rational mind and reach people on an intuitive, emotional level. The familiarity and non-threatening nature of textiles allows me to seduce the viewer into taking a closer look at preconceived assumptions and, perhaps, to make changes.

My work reflects my concerns about the world we live in – a world fraught with the results of inequities, beset by senseless violence in the name of a “greater good”, people in pain, the degradation of the environment, and our increasing psychological isolation from one another. These concerns may not always be evident in the work, but they are always there as subtext. I fear for the future of our world.

I draw on my Jewish heritage, my own photographs and old family photos, the mystical side of world religions, and my personal experiences to develop an iconography to express my passionate concern. I am concerned with humanity and its relationship to the environment, both natural and man-made, and to itself. We have lost our sense of who we are and how we fit into our world.

Barbara Heller