75th Anniversary Holocaust Memorial Commemorative artwork

The #75MemorialFlames project by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has enabled groups like ours, from around the UK, to learn from the past and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It’s so important to stand together against hatred and division.

This month we will be marking #HolocaustMemorialDay on 27th January. We’re proud to have contributed to the #75MemorialFlames project by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust with a Memorial Flame.

The panellists judging the competition were: Sarah Donaldson, arts editor at the Observer; Nick Sharratt, renowned illustrator and author; Kathleen Soriano, Chair of the Liverpool Biennial, and judge on SkyArts Artist of the Year; Anita Peleg, HMDT Trustee and daughter of Naomi Blake, a sculptor and Holocaust survivor; and Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

This artwork is one of 75 memorial flames chosen to represent each year since the liberation of Auschwitz. These will be displayed at an exhibition which is set to be unveiled at the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day in London on 27 January 2020, at which numerous VIPs are expected to be in attendance.

Speaking about the theme for HMD commemorations in 2020, ‘Stand Together’ and the group’s inspiration for getting involved in the project, Revd Rachel Noël, Priest in Charge at St Mark’s Church, Pennington said “I am so proud of how Pennington has worked together to make this artwork. I worked with the creative year 6 student Kiara-Lei Simmons on the design, featuring a variety of people from across the community, standing together. After our design was selected for the national exhibition, conversations at the Musketeer Pub led to local craftsman Alan Doe offering to help us create the final design and local photographer Helen Renouf offering her support to the project. It is important to me that we can bring people together across the community, to work together.”

Pennington Junior School Headteacher, Kirstie Richards said “Our school values are love, respect, perseverance and courage. This artwork helps us to show the significance of the whole of Pennington standing together, to value the gifts of everyone in our diverse community, and to help our students see the importance of respect for everyone. We are delighted that our students work will be part of the national ceremony.”

On Saturday 25th January, Pennington will come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at 3pm at St Mark’s Church, for an event of songs, reflections and poems to mark the anniversary, including Straight Bananas acapella group, St Mark’s choir and students from Pennington Junior School.

Winchester Diocese Director of Education, Jeff Williams said “At a time of political, social and environmental turbulence, church schools are asked to become places and agents of social transformation. this year we encouraged children in our church schools to learn from history, and develop new ethical practices that promote peace and unity for the future. Raising human consciousness of the need for change cannot be achieved individually or independently. This is why ‘Standing Together’, is our focus for this year. All of our Church Schools will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January, bringing communities together to mark this occasion.”

Sarah Donaldson, arts editor for the Observer, said: “The 75 Memorial Flames project is a brilliant project that shows how effective art can be in bringing together people from all walks of life to engage on a particular issue. We’ve seen entries from school children, youth groups, prison inmates, interfaith groups, craft groups, and others, and the quality and diversity of the responses has been really impressive.”

Author and Illustrator, Nick Sharratt, said: “It’s more important than ever not to forget the history of the Holocaust, and this exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that. I’ve been very excited to see how many different interpretations of the brief there are, with each group using the central flame idea and making it their own. The number of different artistic techniques used has been very impressive and I can’t wait to see all the 75 Memorial Flames come together at the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day.”

Kathleen Soriano, SkyArts Artist of the Year judge said: “What really makes the artworks produced for the 75 Memorial Flames project special, are the remarkable stories of those affected by the Holocaust, which are told through the art itself. Each piece explores something different, from specific individuals who were imprisoned in concentration camps, to people who helped others escape and the theme of Stand Together. To me, the theme of Stand Together means remembering together and that’s what this project is helping to achieve.”

Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Olivia Marks-Woldman, said: “It is hugely encouraging to have received so many submissions to this project and from so many different types of groups. The project has truly been nationwide and at a time when we know identity-based hostility is increasing, it is heartening to see so many groups and communities come together and pay tribute to victims of the Holocaust in this way. Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for us all to learn from genocide, for a better future, and I’d urge everyone to get involved in activities for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 by visiting hmd.org.uk.”

The ‘75 Memorial Flames’ competition was launched with the creation of a sculpture by artist and survivor of the Holocaust, Maurice Blik, who was liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as a child. The project is part of a wider programme of events devised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to enable people to take part in Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) and learn from the horrors of genocide.

Characters featured in the artwork:

  • Kirstie Richard – Headteacher, Pennington Junior School
  • Revd Rachel Noël – Priest in Charge, ST Mark’s Church, Pennington
  • Kiara-Lei Simmons – Year 6 Student, Pennington Junior School
  • Alan Doe – Local Craftsman
  • Amy Wake – Acting Headteacher, Pennington Infant School
  • Amy Blake – Pennington PCSO
  • Brian Crouch – Lymington Fire Station
  • Anne Corbridge – Mayor of Lymington & Pennington
  • Andrew Gossage – New Forest District Council, Lymington & Pennington Town Councillor
  • Michael White – Hampshire County Councillor
  • Tizzie Drake – Manager of Pennington One Stop and Post Office
  • Cliff Cole – Landlord Musketeer Pub

Download the press release here.

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