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W: 24in x L: 20in
Oil on Canvas
Stewart chose to paint Hammersmith & Kensington synagogue because it was sadly due to be closed because of a dwindling Jewish community and squatters had actually occupied the building and damaged some of the windows and pews.
Stewart decided it was her duty as an artist to put all the glory back into the synagogue by imagining the scene in the synagogue when it was alive and active.
The synagogue has no Bimah which is an incredibly interesting characteristic – there is just the ark and space in front.
The rostrum and steps to the arc are high above the people’s heads so when the Rabbi preached he towered above them in a form of dominance – a dictatorial approach typical of Edwardian times.
Stewart incorporated archways, pillars and writing on the wall as they are also common architectural features of that period.
The warmth of colours, architectural details, religious scrolls and the foundation stone gives the now closed synagogue life once again.