Four artists selected for Holocaust Centre North memorial residency

Memories from the last of the first-generation survivors to be memorialised in new artworks


© Photo Per Kristiansen Stockholm, Sweden

The Holocaust North centre, which explores Holocaust remembrance through artistic practice, has commissioned four new artists as part of its Memorial Gestures residency.

In its second year, the residency asks artists to create new work inspired by the centre’s collection of 120 local stories and materials from Shoah survivors who went to live in the north of England.

Over the next nine months, Maud Haya-Baviera, Irina Razumovskaya, Ariane Schick and Matt Smith, will immerse themselves in the centre’s collections. The centre is based at the University of Huddersfield.

The selected artists work in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, video, installations, writing and sound. They will respond to artefacts and accounts  and cover themes of discrimination, displacement, trauma, migration, loss, memory and hope.

Holocaust Centre North Director Alessandro Bucci said these “aspects of history cannot be consigned to archives.”

Bucci believes that “artistic responses to our growing collection can illuminate the history and memory of the Holocaust for future generations, highlight its contemporary relevance, and offer representation what has been lost, stolen, destroyed or doesn’t take material form”.

Bucci said this innovative approach “transcends the mere recounting of history; it is an active reimagining of remembrance for the contemporary era.”

Curator Paula Kolar said: “Working with memories from the last of the first-generation survivors and turning traumatic histories into artworks with contemporary relevance in engaging, thought-provoking and ethical ways is an incredibly challenging and daunting task.”

One of the artists, Irina Razumovskaya  is a London-based Russian-lsraeli artist and sculptor. She said: "As a Jewish artist that has grown up in a world where the Holocaust was becoming like an increasingly distant memory, the more I learn about it more immediate the context becomes. I am grateful to be selected for this residency, which gives me the opportunity to both explore my own personal heritage, and engage with the worrying parallels that the UK and Europe are facing a century after the Holocaust"

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