Community Wimple: See

Rachel Kanter

About Rachel Kanter

Rachel Kanter grew up in Syracuse, NY surrounded by women who were always making things: knitting a sweater, sewing a quilt, beading, weaving. She followed in their path and is now a fiber artist using quilting and embroidery techniques while incorporating vintage textiles, sewing patterns, furniture and found objects into her work.  Rachel’s interests lie in the combination of history and tradition with modern ideas about Judaism. Not only does she look to traditional Jewish rituals and texts to inform her work but is equally inspired by traditional women’s hand work and crafts. There is a deep connection between how she works with fabric, the methods she uses to sew, quilt and embroider and what her mother, grandmothers and great-grandmothers did. Rachel’s work is a means of connecting her story as a woman with her story as a Jew.

About Community Wimple: See

When I think of Shmita, I think of slowing down, taking a long pause, looking with intentionality, noticing, waking up to what’s around me. Shimta is a time for communities to come together and focus on the earth, the communal home we share with the rest of humanity. “Community Wimple: See” is a conceptual ritual object for just this moment. A traditional wimple is a Torah binder and is made from the swaddling cloth of a baby boy and used during celebrations throughout the baby’s life. “Community Wimple: See” is used to bind a community together: physically, spiritually and through the act of truly seeing humanity’s destruction of the earth and the beauty that will be lost. “Community Wimple: See” is made from fabric with photo images of Central New York that I take every summer when I return to my hometown. The tree images are made using solar reactive dye and photos from my current home in New Jersey. Even though these images are personal to me, the act of honestly seeing what’s around you is something we all must do this coming Shmita year.