Commemorative Artwork selected for National Exhibition

Commemorative artwork by Queen Mary’s College selected for national exhibition marking 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation
Memorial Flame chosen by judges to feature at official Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

A memorial flame created by Art students has been selected by a distinguished panel of judges to feature as part of a national art exhibition to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The artwork is one of 75 memorial flames chosen to represent each year since the liberation of Auschwitz. These will be displayed at an exhibition which is set to be unveiled at the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day in London on 27 January 2020, at which numerous VIPs are expected to be in attendance. More than 300 groups from across the country registered to take part in the nationwide competition launched by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) to encourage more people to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.

The panellists judging the competition were: Sarah Donaldson, arts editor at the Observer;  Nick Sharratt, renowned illustrator and author; Kathleen Soriano, Chair of the Liverpool Biennial, and judge on SkyArts Artist of the Year; Anita Peleg, HMDT Trustee and daughter of Naomi Blake, a sculptor and Holocaust survivor; and Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

During a Queen Mary’s College tutorial session students were given the task of creating a Holocaust memorial piece of artwork. The successful group of Emma Bailey, Hope Dolton and Taylor Jangdhari came up with ideas and were drawn to an image of a boy in striped pyjamas, behind barbed wire. Inspired by quotes from children in Jewish concentration camps and poetry they decided to use children as the focus for the project as they felt they were ‘innocent and were supposed to be the next generation of people and had their lives stolen from them.’ They turned the ideas into a 3d ceramic sculpture and are now ‘really excited’ to go to London and showcase their work.'

Speaking about the theme for HMD commemorations in 2020, ‘Stand Together’ and the group’s inspiration for getting involved in the project, Laura Starke, Teacher of Art at QMC commented'' I am so proud of the students for getting selected for this exhibition. This work is very meaningful and they worked so hard to create it. The processes involved were very time consuming and they have really pulled off a tasteful, respectful and powerful piece that honours the memory of those who lost their lives during this tragic time in history.''

Sarah Donaldson, arts editor for the Observer, said: “The 75 Memorial Flames project is a brilliant project that shows how effective art can be in bringing together people from all walks of life to engage on a particular issue. We’ve seen entries from school children, youth groups, prison inmates, interfaith groups, craft groups, and others, and the quality and diversity of the responses has been really impressive.”

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Olivia Marks-Woldman, said: “It is hugely encouraging to have received so many submissions to this project and from so many different types of groups. The project has truly been nationwide and at a time when we know identity-based hostility is increasing, it is heartening to see so many groups and communities come together and pay tribute to victims of the Holocaust in this way. Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for us all to learn from genocide, for a better future, and I’d urge everyone to get involved in activities for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 by visiting”


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