Art Central Gallery Hosts Holocaust Memorial Exhibition and Commemoration Event
Published 29 January 2015
Art Central, the Vale of Glamorgan’s international art gallery in Barry, held a Holocaust Memorial event hosted by the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, Cllr Howard Hamilton, on the 26 January, the evening prior to Holocaust Memorial Day.
The evening marked the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the 20th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia.
Those attending the event were able to engage with the exhibition on show entitled ‘Keep the Memory Alive’. The theme was selected by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, who have been promoting Holocaust Memorial Day, held annually in the UK on the 27th January to mark the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, since 2001. The commemoration was a reflection on the significance of the date, and a reminder that the exhibition will be open to members of the public until 4pm on Saturday 21 February 2015.
The exhibition links the past with the present day and has a significant thought, feeling, or message for everyone. Working with over two hundred and fifty year five and six children from Vale schools, conflict and war artist Nicola Tucker together with the Council’s Arts Development Team delivered workshops focusing on the history of the Second World War, and the impact it had on the children of Terezin, a walled ghetto on the outskirts of Prague. The creative arts workshops covered a number of curricular subjects and looked at how Europe was treated during the Second World War and how this could be translated into bullying in the school playground today. One teacher commented: “This is one of the best workshops I have ever seen.”
During his speech the Mayor said: “The workshops have had a significant impact on the young people, some of whom commented on their own personal experiences which enabled them to understand, explore and accept each other’s differences.
“This moving and thought provoking exhibition enables us to remember the past and consider the part we can play in challenging hatred and bullying to create a safer and better future for us all.”
Alongside the work by primary school children is the art work and poetry created during the Second World War by the children of Terezin, courtesy of the Jewish Museum in Prague. One of the poems, ‘I haven’t seen a butterfly around here’, inspired the breath-taking installation of white butterflies hanging from the walls and ceilings of the gallery. There is also an opportunity for visitors to the gallery to contribute to the exhibition by leaving a personal note on a small white butterfly, with the aim of covering an entire wall with messages of hope in honour of the young lives which were unjustly cut short.
Cllr Gwyn John, Cabinet Member for Arts and Culture, said: “The 2015 Holocaust Memorial exhibition honours the purity and innocence of children, their lives, dreams and the importance of hope for the future. I hope we can take away our thoughts and dreams from this evening and apply them to our own lives to make a difference to ours and others futures.”
The exhibition can be visited Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm daily except on Bank Holidays. For more information about the exhibition please visit www.valeofglamorgn.gov.uk/arts or contact the arts development team on 01446 700111.