Buttons and Pills
By Melanie Wagner
About the pillowcases
Jan Paul Rosen’s grandfather, Kurt, being Jewish escaped Germany before the onset of the Second World War and fled to Britain in 1936 with his family. He lived in London in the East End along with many other German `Jews. He set up his own business dying buttons for local textile cottage industries until his death in 1985. His grandson grew up in `North `London and trained as a physician, and now works in the pharmaceutical industry researching new drugs to fight illness and chronic disease.
“Buttons and Pills” is based on the visual link between Kurt Rosen’s business of dying buttons and Jan-Paul’s profession of developing pills. This similarity is an anchor point connecting two socio-historical strands in linking first generation immigrants to third generation professionals. A refugee’s dream of wealth and success in a new country has now finally landed through the life his grandson leads.
About Melanie Wagner
Melanie Wagner trained as an image-maker and obtained a first class honours degree in media arts and design form Central SaintMartinsUniversity of the Arts. Her photography project “Traveltopia” was exhibited at the National Theatre and will travel to Opera North in Leeds in October 2006 and to Tapestry Gallery in Soho in November 2006.Melanie has worked on a number of photographic assignments for the Commission for Racial Equality and University of Hertfordshire Publishing.