“Although life is difficult, it is also beautiful.”
— Rywka Lipszyc (pronounced “Rivka Lipschitz”)
This hand-pulled letterpress print is printed from hand-lettered original typography and hand-drawn illustrations and patterns (in fact, everything was done by hand, the hard way!). This piece was created in memory of the victims of both the 2014 terrorist attacks in Paris and the Holocaust of World War II.
Please note that this last print is an AP or “Artist Proof.” We determine our edition number before printing, but we always print a few more broadsides than we think we’ll need for the edition, in case of mishaps during the process. When the edition is finished, any extra prints that survive outside of the edition are signed and labeled with “AP” in place of a number. Because we wait to sell the APs until the rest of the edition is sold out, they are priced the same as the numbered prints.
As seems to happen on a regular basis, religion and extremism are in the news again. The first instance, the recent violence in France, is a horribly fresh reminder of what we brace for every day in modern society. The second is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January—which, when paired with the terrorist acts in Paris, underscores the importance of learning from our past.
In another example of history made new again, the world has only recently discovered the incredible story of a young girl whose faith and diary carried her through one of the darkest times in human history. It is this story that we set out to tell with our 21st Dead Feminist broadside, “Common Threads.”
The piece is a winter garden of pale pastels and subtle metallic golds. The delicate colors and shining metallic ink (which includes real gold in the formula) represent the fragility and preciousness of life among the thorns of war and persecution. The floral motif echoes themes from Rywka’s diary, and stands for the resilience of the Jewish people—whose culture has flourished beautifully despite some of the worst trials endured by humankind.
The overall design of the broadside is based on Rywka’s dual cultural heritage. The border is reminiscent of Jewish embroidered challah covers and sabbath cloths, while the style of floral illustration is derived from Polish folk florals. The stitched lines are a nod to Rywka’s trade as seamstress, which she viewed optimistically as a way to move forward and make a living in a future beyond wartime.
To help fight anti-Semitism worldwide and defend civil rights for all, we are donating a portion of our proceeds to the Anti-Defamation League — one of the nation’s top human and civil rights organizations for over 100 years.
This poster was printed on an antique Vandercook Universal One press. Each piece is printed on archival, 100% rag (cotton) paper, and individually signed and numbered by both artists. This piece was printed in a limited edition, so once the edition sells out, it will not be reprinted. So snag your copy while you can!
Edition size: 145
Paper size: 10 x 18 inches
Rywka Lipszyc (1929 – 1945?) kept a diary from October 1943 to April 1944, while living in Poland’s Łódź ghetto. Discovered by a Russian doctor in the crematoria remains at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the diary was published in 2014, sharing Rywka’s amazing story with the world. Her parents and three siblings perished in Nazi ghettos and killing centers. Despite horrible living conditions Rywka survived, working in the ghetto’s clothing and linen workshop, learning to sew, organizing a library, and attending classes. Her diary ends abruptly, but records reveal she was deported to Auschwitz, then liberated to a ﬁeld hospital after the war’s end. No further trace of her has been found, but Rywka’s words survive, a reminder of her incredible faith despite all odds — and her dream of becoming a writer fulﬁlled.
Illustrated by Chandler O’Leary and printed by Jessica Spring, honoring words and images of every faith as an invaluable thread that binds us together.
This original artwork is copyright Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring 2015. Copyright is not transferable with the sale of this print. The buyer is not entitled to reproduction rights.
WA state residents are subject to sales tax.
The print is packaged in a clear poly sleeve and will ship flat in a protective mailer, via USPS Priority Mail.