Huddersfield hosts Holocaust buttons

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2011
The buttons installation on show in Ripon Cathedral

The buttons installation on show in Ripon Cathedral

Kirklees is planning a Holocaust artwork of six million buttons as a permanent outdoor memorial in the West Yorkshire borough.

Entitled "6 Million+" and created by Leeds Jewish artist Antonia Stowe, it was first commissioned in 2006 as a temporary artwork by Kirklees Council. It began as an educational project when school and college students were asked to collect the buttons. After a JC report, more than six million buttons came in from all parts of the UK.

Since being commissioned the installation, made of knee-deep loose buttons arranged in colour patterns to represent six million Jewish and other victims of the Holocaust, has toured the UK. It takes an articulated lorry to transport and four days to set up. In 2008 it went to London's Brent Cross Shopping Centre, which won an international award for hosting it.

Now the installation is to reopen in its original home at Huddersfield Art Gallery tomorrow (January 22 ) to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.

Ms Stowe said the permanent installation would include six chimneys to represent Nazi concentration camps, but would also aim to encompass other genocides.

She said: "I don't think its origins as a Holocaust piece will ever be watered down. But as part of the project with schools we have worked with child soldiers, asylum-seekers and displaced people from all over the world."

Last updated: 11:29am, January 21 2011