Child Holocaust Survivor and Author Henri Korn will be the subject of a portrait by Clare-based Visual Artist Thomas Delohery to be submitted for the annual prestigious Archibald Prize in Sydney, Australia.
On the back of this, Henri Korn has asked to use thel Thomas Delohery’s art for the front cover of his latest book.
Korn, who was born in Germany, was barely 9 years old when he witnessed the murder of his young friend, Leo Troski, and Leo’s parents, during Kristallnacht (The Night of the Broken Glass) – the widespread destruction of hundreds of synagogues in Germany and Austria, the murder of almost 100 Jews and attacks on Jewish property in November 1938. Like countless others, Korn survived the Second World War on false papers, living in hiding and working with a group of young men in the underground whose task it was to relay information about German troop movements to the Allies.
Celebrated Irish-born Creative Artist and International Painter, Thomas Delohery, has had an abiding interest in the Holocaust and is acutely aware of the suffering of the victims at the hands of the Nazi and their collaborators.
Delohery will paint Henri Korn’s portrait and submit it as an entry for the Archibald Prize 2015.
Delohery’s portrait of Henri will not be a conventional one. Henri who is now 85 is not comfortable with the label ‘child’ Holocaust Survivor. Delohery has drawn and painted Henri ‘between two worlds,’ from the child survivor he was back then to the youthful 85 year old gentleman that he is now. The title of the painting is, ‘Like Forgotten Photographs.’
Delohery sees Henri Korn’s enthusiasm a person with boundless energy and a zest for life, despite the trauma of his teenage years.
“Henri is in many respects an Australian success story,” says Delohery. “He reflects – indeed epitomises – the fortitude and resilience which is so much a characteristic of this country.”
“It is a privilege to paint his portrait.”
Henri remembers that a Painter Danila Vassilieff, a Don Cossack who settled in Australia in the mid-thirties had asked to paint Henri’s Mum but sadly died unexpectedly one day before the sitting. Henri told Delohery this story when Thomas asked Henri to sit for him. Now that it is coming to pass that another painter is finally getting to paint her son at least, Henri says he feels, “ten feet tall.”