Collection: General Judaica
Needlework by Ilana Limoni
Illustrations painted by Lindy Tilp
Text from Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays (Rabbinical Assembly for Conservative Judaism, 2009 edition)
Source of information on camp category and numerical data was based upon a Wikipedia search in 2012 on “List of Nazi Concentration Camps”. This information was drawn upon from a variety of sources and the website has subsequently made some modifications
Completed in 2013
It took about three months to make
Materials and technique:
Petit Point Canvas made from cotton with an 18 mesh mono weave (i.e., 324 stitches per square inch)
Threads are silk, cotton, wool and metallic fibers
Technique is a variety of stitches
H: 51¼” (130.2 cm) W: 29” (73.7 cm) (unframed)
Details of note:
Colors. A lot of thought was given to which thread colors to use when listing the different camps. First, Ilana selected black and shades of purple, colors she associates with death and sorrow. Second, each classification for the different type of camps was assigned a specific hue on this color spectrum, as a function of the severity of atrocities associated therein.
Symbolism. This was employed as a way of acknowledging the estimated six million Jews who were murdered. The flames, internal flames and all their peaks were consistently drawn in 6’s. Furthermore, at the base of the flames is the Hebrew word Shema, connoting the prayer uttered when one’s own death is imminent.
Text Selected. The two prayers embedded in this needlepoint are both associated with death:
(i) the Kaddish (in gold thread): the annual prayer recited by mourners and
(ii) El Male Rahamim (in silver thread): the prayer for the soul of the departed.
Presentation of the Statistics. Starting at the top, Ilana needlepointed the first Hebrew prayer and on each line, she incorporated the Hebrew and English name of a camp and its death toll. In order to conserve space, in the second prayer, she omitted the Hebrew name of the camps and she listed several per line.
Process in general:
This needlepoint started with Ilana free form stitching in petit point the text, referencing graphs of the alphabets (Ilana created the Hebrew graph and utilized a published English graph). Then she collaborated with her artist Lindy as to what she wanted painted. Thereafter Ilana needlepointed the artwork and covered the remainder of the canvas with a background.