When my grandfather was forced to leave his family home, along with my grandmother and their kids, he thought that this was just a temporary unrest and they would return to this home in a few days. To risk not losing their valuables, they locked everything in an iron box, dug a hole in the floor and buried the box there. He then trusted their neighbor with his house keys and told him. “Take my keys. Keep my house safe. I’ll return.” They parted with a hug. My grandparents or my parents never got to go back to the other side to see their homes, their land or any of their belongings. This piece depicts all of the riches, valuables, left behind on both sides of the border. I wonder how many such boxes with unclaimed keys are out there? I think of Ukrainian families going through a similar struggle right now.
Medium: Ink, acrylics on canvas
Size: Diptych, each canvas 24 x 30”