24" x 13"
Collage of monoprint and photocopy on board
Here are my Grandma Fanny and Grandpa Harry Abrahams on their wedding day around 1912–13, with the benefit of time-lapse, as my mother, Sonia, and her brothers, Victor and Jack, seem to be there already! They are outside the railings of their house at 3 Poets Road, Highbury, London. Grandma and Grandpa were first cousins, and they first set eyes on each other when she was about 12 and he, 15.
He had made the long journey alone from his shtetl (little town) in Zeludok, near Vilna; he was an orphan, raised by his grandparents, Chaya Riva and Avigdor. We don't know what became of his mother Devorah — she was widowed young and might have remarried and left him behind with her parents when she moved away — or she might have died. My Grandpa was always convinced he had a half brother in the USA so it was often said that she had remarried and gone to America with her new husband.
Harry came to London alone to avoid being drafted into the Russian army, where the Jewish boys were said to be placed in the very front of the front line. He came to London to the home of his father's brother, Davis Pelovsky. Davis had 4 little girls, the oldest of whom was my Grandma Fanny, and their mother had passed away, so maybe that's how these two motherless children found an immediate bond. Harry travelled on to the USA where he refined his skills as a designer of ladies' wear but he missed Fanny — we still have his love letters to her, tied up in their blue ribbon — and returned to London to marry her. He wrote to ask her to join in in New York but Grandpa Davis put his foot down — Fanny was far too beautiful to travel alone, and would surely fall into the hands of slave traffickers... if Harry wanted to marry her, he must return to London. He did so, and that's how my London family came into being. This piece has lots of collage elements, with names and words about my family.