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ART INSTALLATION: Six Million

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Version 2 2024-05-20, 13:24
Version 1 2023-05-10, 09:29
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posted on 2023-05-10, 09:29 authored by Helen NewallHelen Newall

Designed by Professor Helen Newall; soundscape by Dr Karen Lauke; figures created by the year 6 children of Nutgrove Methodist Primary School, Thatto Heath, St Helens.


Practice research questions included:

  • How might the Holocaust be introduced and discussed with primary school-aged children?
  • How might we commemorate such histories through art?
  • How might singular artifacts be combined to create a collaborative art work?


This installation commemorates the six million who perished in the Holocaust for being Jewish. People were also murdered because they were disabled, Polish, Rumanian, Gypsies, or because they were homosexual, or considered to be different, or dissenters.


The figures in this work were made by the children and were inspired by the commemorative work of Yugoslav artist, Nandor Glid (1924 – 1997), who survived Auschwitz, and forced labour. After the war, he went on to become an artist, creating stark and beautiful memorial sculptures, one of which stands today in the yard at Dachau Camp Memorial Site. The children and I looked at his work and talked about memory and remembrance, after which they worked very hard to create the beautiful clay figures you now see collected together in this memorial.


The fragments of text projected onto this memorial are taken from the prayer created in 2020 by Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; and Senior Imam, Qari Asim, and which is intended for use by people of any faith in their Holocaust Memorial Day activities.


Six Million was commissioned by Cultural Hubs, delivered by and through St Helens Borough Council Library Service - an Arts Council England NPO.


The documents in this portfolio include:

19 x photographs documenting the artwork.

1 x photograph documenting Thatto Heath Library where the work was installed.

5 x press photographs courtesy of St Helens Borough Council Library Service.

1 x film demonstrating what was projected onto the clay figures.

1 x sound file demonstrating the soundscape which accompanied the work.

1 x film demonstrating the projection and sound combined superimposed over an image of the clay figures.


The work was featured in an interview with Helen Newall on the Sean Styles Show, BBC Radio Merseyside, 27 January 2023.

 

Funding

St Helens Borough Council

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