Conor, Egg Tempera & Ink on Paper; © Jennifer Pohl
Many Canadians, and most Newfoundlanders, are already familar with the plight of the Portnoy Family. Having been in Canada for ten years, well-known and liked in the communities in which they have lived (and even started a business), they have sought citizenship several times and have been denied. This, despite the fact that they are political dissidents in Moldava and Israel, facing severe issues if and when they are forced to return. Today the four young children and their pregnant mother Angela Portnoy continue to seek sanctuary in the basement of a local church, but their father Alexi was taken from them in December 2005 after briefly leaving the building and being arrested during a routine traffic check. Despite the fervent pleas of the people of Marystown and Newfoundland, he was deported to Israel during the Christmas season.
Official requests to allow Angela safe passage to receive medical treatment have been repeatedly denied, creating great concern for the family and all involved, including medical professionals.
As a pregnant mother, this strikes all too close to home. If, like me, your heart was broken this past Christmas by the Portnoy’s story, please take a moment to visit this website to learn more, and consider signing the online petition. Public support will strengthen a new application, and copies are being sent to various politicians with the power to intervene.
My husband Douglas Johnston has just turned a life-long hobby into another great blog, a multimedia one called A Study in Sherlock. If you have even a passing interest in mystery, history, literature, or perhaps the best known fictional character of all time, I think I can promise you that this will be a fascinating journey.
[…] It’s my intention that there will be something new every weekday, and occasionally on weekends. That includes original pieces (many of which are written for newcomers to the Canon), photographs, teasers for the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrations, news stories, book reviews, audio snippets, “workshop” projects (such as do-it-yourself reference cards or CDs), radio plays, and featured sites. Most of these entries are selected to offer something for neophytes, but –hopefully– also provide ample occasion for discourse amongst the more experienced.
Dancing with Matisse, Oil on Canvas; © Jennifer Pohl
I have family members working in almost every field of endeavour –medicine, business and theatre, to name but a few– but one of my sweet and smart first cousins, Craig Cutler, is something of an artist. He runs his own thriving business in downtown St. John’s at the Trouble Bound Tattoos studio. I’ve been recently trying to convince him to let me do some studies in his shop, because I have a feeling there’s a painting to be found there. Because of my location, and my rapidly advancing due date, it’s a work that won’t happen overnight, so I thought it made sense to post an earlier piece painted for one of my first shows, Mother Mary, Wicked Women and Other Stories, called “Dancing with Matisse”. It seems to be a good fit for the today’s Illustration Friday.
Dancing with Matisse (detail), Oil on Canvas; © Jennifer Pohl