Friday, November 16, 2012

Jackie's Memory Shrines

Sometimes we get stuck in the notion that art supplies are paint and canvas or paper, or clay or stone... but Jackie Saunders-Ritchie's memory boxes use a whole range of materials that are found or saved or even traded. Out of these simple materials she creates assemblages that speak volumes and touch the soul.  Here are some of her supplies...

Jackie is an artist and a new friend of mine and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her in her studio this week.  Her most recent work is the creation of what she calls  Memory Shrines, assemblages of materials and images presented in small wooden boxes, each one honouring individuals and groups of people lost in the Holocaust.

Jackie's family experienced this terrible time; some never came back from concentration camps. And now all these years later she is exploring the layers of feeling around this by creating these vignettes.  

Here is part of her artist's statement:
These Memory Shrines, assembled with great caring and deep intuition, are an expression of the
stories my cells have stored, over time and despite layers of new data and recent memories, stuffed
into my body. They embrace my distant past, the stories and images of my ancestors, inherited
memories of the Holocaust.

The Memory Shrines are small, about the size of a sheet of letter paper, but I find them powerful, absorbing, and evocative. 

Here is Jackie with another one of her memory shrines.  Behind her on the wall of her studio you can see some of her other work including paintings, collages, and three dimensional work.

I also really like her paintings.  They're clear and vibrant and deep--just like Jackie.
Here's one from a series she calls Primordial Waters.

As for me, I'm finding my way back to creating some art of my own and I'm happy to have met Jackie as she is inspiring me to move forward with my painting.  Just yesterday I went out and bought a small supply of acrylic paints.  These are the first I've had since I gave mine away six years ago when we moved to Haliburton Road.

To see more of Jackie's work, visit her website here.


  1. What a fantastic article. Thank you for sharing such wonderful art and such an incredible artist!


  2. Sat-Sung Kalman Hassid Thank you for posting. xoxo. Wonderful article. I LOVE the photo.
    8 hours ago via mobile · Like

  3. What a fantastic blog. Beautifully done and very informative. Where have you exhibited these wonderful creations?..............K

  4. That's lovely, so good when people draw attention to creativity in others.

  5. Beeeutifulllll!
    Mazal Tov.

  6. beautiful & powerful

  7. Amazingly talented woman! Must get to meet Jackie and
    see more of her art! Does she have a studio?

    1. you are most welcome to visit our Victoria studio. Please contact me on my website

  8. Loved your article on Jackie, a dear friend. I am continually amazed at her ability to choose various "parts" and make them into a "whole" story.

  9. These are great, and very uniqe. Jackie is very creative.

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