March 10, 2016

Metro Vancouver residents still have a couple of weeks to view a fresh feminist perspective on one of the more frequently depicted events of Biblical lore.

The art exhibit, Heroine of a Thousand Pieces: The Judith Mosaics of Lilian Broca, runs until March 31 at the Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver. Following that it will show from May 5 – July 4, 2016 at Columbus Centre in Toronto.

In the exhibit Broca employs glass mosaic to depict scenes related to accounts of Judith’s beheading of the Assyrian general Holofernes, a story found in the apocryphal Book of Judith, probably written about 150 BCE. It’s been the subject of many paintings and sculptures from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

In the story, Judith, a beautiful Hebrew widow, is able to enter the tent of Holofernes because of his desire for her. Holofernes was about to destroy Judith’s home, the city of Bethulia. Overcome with drink, he passes out and is decapitated by Judith; his head is taken away in a basket.

Here is a link to the related book/catalogue, Heroine of a Thousand Pieces, written by Sheila Campbell, Yosef Wosk, Adolfo Roitman, Angela Clarke and Broca. The book was released in November 2015 in conjunction with the travelling solo exhibition.

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This mosaic depicts a proud, yet not overjoyed Judith, displaying the head of Holofernes. The mosaic is part of a series on the Jewish heroine from an exhibition by Vancouver artist Lilian Broca.