Gillian Singer


The design and proportions of this memorial are based on the format of a bed. The symbols form a patchwork mantle. I have tried to arrange ‘the blanket’ as a rhythm of marks.

There are sixty-four symbols, divided into eight rows of eight. There is infinity in a figure 8 — a drawn line curving round on itself forever. Some suggest a Judaic content and others reflect human relationships. I wanted shapes that hinted rather than stated their meaning.

I have used the menorah and shapes originating in the menorah a number of times (3) (6) (38).
The menorah is a fertile and versatile shape which here has been transformed into a leaf, a tree and a receptacle.

Symbols (11) (37) (51) (63) are about new growth and regeneration; (42) is a cob of corn.
The home is symbolized in (26) (30) (36). I have used the significance of clothing and ritual in
Judaism - the warp and the weft (9) (7), plus the stripes on a tallith (27) (47) (53). I have made
fringes and tassels into sculptural forms in (31) (57) (59). Symbol (21) is the corner of a tallith, but also becomes a receptacle.

The Passover plate (5) and covering cloth for bread (24) are illustrated; grapes (14), wine, receptacles and vessels feature in others (12) (22) (33). The plate or circle is also a metaphor for a continuum.

The flame is used as remembrance (39) and spiritual light (25) (60).

I have linked doors, windows and architectural entranceways all with relevant Judaic content (12) (23) (29). In symbol (43) arches form a column which in turn becomes a tree.

The open book in (62) and (29) signifies learning, the Torah, a prayer book and writing.

A dreidel, menorah and plant combine in symbol (16).

A Magen David is clearly visible in the symbols (13) and (32). I have used the triangle from the Magen David in various juxtapositions to form patterns (8) (18) (48).

The curve and the triangle appear and reappear. Two curves form an etrog (19), plus symbol (38)
is a lulav.

Two open triangles form linked arms (46). Linked arms also feature in symbols (15) and (44).

Two forms fit snugly together like a partnership (41) but others require space between (1) (17) (49).

In (61) the menorah shapes are joined but separate, which is the same for (55) - corners of cloth.

Two receptacles form a shofar (52).

The summary and final symbol (64) is both presence and absence.

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