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"I am developing a new body of work based on the traditional embroidery patterns of Jewish and Palestinian culture and contemporary genetic identity makers. Historically in both Semitic cultures embroidery functions to record the history and lineage of a family, a tribe and an entire culture. Through these 'folk' traditions, females acted as historians telling stories through a vocabulary of visual symbolism. They have in both cases labored on these pieces during their lifetime sowing their identity in the cloth.

I grew up surrounded by labor intensive embroideries, which for me always evoked the presence of their maker. I learned the craft at an early age, this was my first exposure to visual form.

A dress from Bethlehem given to me in 1990 by my husband, a Palestinian, introduced me to the traditions of Palestinian embroidery. Each former Palestinian village has its own identifying embroidery style. The stitches, patterns and colors of thread all represent specific meaning. These have become extremely important mark of identity for the now displaced Palestinian people. While in residence at Gas Works I will print the 202 embroidery patterns I have made into printing plates for a limited edition artist book.

In 1997 I viewed an exhibition of embroidered Torah binders dating from 981-1935 at the Prahistorlishe Staatssammlung in Munchen Germany. These elaborately embroidered Torah binders, made from a circumcision diaper upon the birth of a son, tell the history of rural Jews living in southern Germany. Coming from a family with a Holocaust survivor, I find these binders to be vital pieces of information.

During her residency at Gasworks, Ondrizek combined traditional embroidery patterns and forms with contemporary scientific identity patterns such as genetic information on panels of linen. This includes DNA and RNA Gels form her family, (her own, her husbands and their sons) Cellular images and Chromosomes splitting. These images function as our identity markers in contemporary society and are, cross culturally, amazingly similar."

Open Studio's took place on 28 - 30 March 2003, 12-6pm with a preview on Thursday 27 March 2003, 6-8pm

Geraldine Ondrizek's residency was supported by the Levine Foundation