Buttons fasten Shoah education


Final year pupils at Glasgow's Calderwood Lodge Jewish Primary have begun working with artist Joanna Hyman on their UJIA-initiated Buttons project.

It takes its inspiration from Paperclips, the brainchild of Tennessee headteacher Linda Hooper, whose students set out to collect six million paperclips to symbolise Holocaust victims.

Ms Hooper visited Calderwood Lodge last year and the children subsequently decided to collect buttons and make them into pieces of art. To date they have collected 60,000 for the Shoah memorial, including contributions from Ms Hooper.

Each of the 17 children has an individual wooden board to which the buttons are glued and the finished artwork is displayed in the school.

"It's really fun," said 11-year-old Gabrielle Barmack. "First we chose the pattern and now we're glueing the buttons on to the board.

"My design is based on the bookcase in the secret annexe at the Anne Frank House. I chose that because it was so colourful and because I think Anne Frank was such an important person. Everyone in the class is really enjoying it."

The project is being led by UJIA Scotland staffer Ms Hyman, who was originally a textile artist. "The children have just come back from a trip to Amsterdam and they're using a lot of ideas from that," she explained. "They're placing buttons and trying things out and they're loving it. When you see the designs they've made they're really powerful."

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