The Evolution of “The Rosen Women”.

Artists Statement


Hinda Avery’s mother left Poland before the start of the second world war, but she was so severely traumatized by the murder of her family that it affected both her mental and physical health. Her trauma was passed down to her daughter, hence Avery’s close connection to the Holocaust.

On retiring, Avery experienced a need for a connection to her murdered female family. The only way to make this connection would be through a make-believe process and painting seemed a tangible tool. Avery decided to paint herself with her late mother and, with the help of only two motley photographs, her murdered aunt and grandmother. This process began in 2005 and lasted for over thirteen years. Over time, Avery disassociated herself from an overt depiction of the Holocaust experience, an event too catastrophic for her to depict using conventional representation.

The Seven Series of Paintings

SERIES 1, 2005

In this first series, Avery depicts her mother, aunt, grandmother, and herself – The Rosen Women – in a concentration camp. They are victims, in the barracks, and seated in the latrine. And they are naked. Eventually, Avery could not tolerate their vulnerability and painted them first in prison garb and then in army uniforms, but still in the camp. The paintings, measuring 36” by 36”.

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SERIES 2, 2006

Avery takes the women out of the camps into the forest, and they become character actors in the role of real female resistance fighters. In total, the four women stand in for thirty-six real resisters; the names of the resisters appear alongside the paintings. The original four are joined by other female relatives and friends in later works. 

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SERIES 3, 2007, 2008

The Rosen women become more animated and colourful. They are no longer stand-ins for the real resisters; they are the real resisters. And they look more like caricatures in their absurd fantastic army uniforms. The paintings have become large: 9 feet by 5 feet.

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SERIES 4, 2009, 2010

The Rosen Women have become The Rosen Sisterrrz. In this series, they work out, they rescue a sister and they hide in a Nazi garden with their rifles at the ready.

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SERIES 5, 2011

The Nazis are out to get the women, and they fight back in a strategic and confident manner. Next to the paintings, the text, within a comic-like bubble, tells the viewer what they are up to. The paintings are now 9 feet wide by 6 feet high – larger than life figures.

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SERIES 6, 2012 to 2014

Hitler enters the picture. The Rosen Sisterrrz have become an inexhaustible army of six women and are now the Resisterrrz. These paintings also have a text bubble beside them.

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SERIES 7, 2015 to 2017

In their last transition, the Resisterrrz morph into Hollywood-looking science-fiction warriors, burlesque queens and finally astronauts in space – all the while standing up to Hitler and the Nazis.

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