Stephania Windholz Leigh

Aren’t You Gonna Eat Your Gefilte Fish?
February 22nd – March 11th, 2023

STEPHANIA WINDHOLZ LEIGH Catalogue.

 

Windholz Leigh’s solo exhibition, Aren’t You Gonna Eat Your Gefilte Fish?, is a poignant exploration of her Jewish heritage and the importance of continuing her cultural lineage for future generations. Gefilte fish, a traditional Jewish dish composed of blended sweet fish mushed into a filet and eaten cold with a boiled carrot on top, is an acquired taste that carries unique significance in Jewish culture.While the exhibition title is humorous to some, its deeper exploration is quite melancholic. It features a large-scale painting, two smaller painting studies and a sculptural work, all of which honor this humble yet significant dish. The artwork series seeks to reclaim the gefilte fish and its place in Jewish culture, honouring it as a symbol of identity and heritage that connects us to our past, present, and future. Aren’t You Gonna Eat Your Gefilte Fish? tells a story of migration and cultural assimilation, as a Jewish woman grapples with the grief of her husband’s rejection of the dish, a metaphor of the tremendous losses of past generations to genocide and what will remain, culturally, for future generations. In it, Gefilte fish is placed on a pedestal, reflecting its importance in Jewish culture and its profound historical significance to Stephania.
The large-scale painting, Aren’t You Gonna Eat Your Gefilte Fish?, is a minimalist abstraction depicting the relationships between two bodies, their environment, and the titular dish. The accompanying paintings of Gefilte Fish Left Alone At Night pay tribute to the uneaten gefilte fish in the large scale narrative painting. Finally, the sculpture, Gefilte Fish, immortalises the dish in modernist, abstractionist glory – all it needs is a dollop of horseradish.