Steampunk Shabbat

Diana Koester

About Diana Koester

I am a Jewish artist, writer, and teacher. I endeavor every day to teach my students how to find balance in order to effect change – to seek understanding of their identities as Jews, to maintain those identities in ways that make sense to them, but not at the expense of anyone else.

About Steampunk Shabbat

In this mixed media piece, I considered the juxtaposition of work and rest, and was inspired by a steampunk motif. I painted a table placed by a lace curtained window, showing a peaceful Shabbat evening outside. Inside, on the table, are lit Shabbat candles. The Shabbat candlesticks – consummate symbols of our delineated weekly physical and spiritual rest from worldly mechanics and pursuits – are ironically comprised of metal cogs and wheels, clocks, and keys, industrial items that represent the constant forward motion of our world. This piece represents, just as Shmita does, the significance of literally stopping the machine and finding a way simply to be, if only for a few hours in the grand scheme of things.