Holocaust Centre North has announce the four new artists set to take part in its Memorial Gestures residency this year.
Holocaust Centre North has recently announce the four new artists commissioned to participate in the second year of its ground-breaking Memorial Gestures artistic residency – funded by the Ernest Hecht Charitable Trust. Launched by the Centre in 2022, this unique, creative initiative gives leading and emerging artists the opportunity to create brand new artwork inspired by its archives and in response to its themes and collections. Holocaust Centre North – based at the University of Huddersfield – not only tells the global story of the Holocaust but does so through over 120 local stories and materials from survivors who subsequently created new lives in the North of England.
Over the next nine months, artists Maud Haya-Baviera, Irina Razumovskaya, Ariane Schick, and Matt Smith – who work in a variety of different mediums including ceramics, video, installations, writing, and sound – will take up residency to fully immerse themselves both virtually and in person at Holocaust Centre North. Through a series of bespoke workshops, talks, oral history, and first hand interactions with survivors and their families, archivists, historians, and the Centre’s small dedicated team of volunteers and staff – the artists will explore the collection. The ultimate aim is that they will then be able to respond to and translate these memories, artefacts, and accounts which cover themes of discrimination, displacement, trauma, migration, loss, memory, and hope.
This artistic exploration of the archives will culminate at the end of the residency in each artist producing a brand new piece of work in their chosen medium – inspired by history but which still resonates today. These will premiere at a Memorial Gestures exhibition at Holocaust Centre North in September next year.
Holocaust Centre North Director, Alessandro Bussi comments: “As we embark on the second year of Memorial Gestures, our pride in this singular endeavour is profound. Our work extends from meticulous archive research to our partnership with the University of Huddersfield and our learning programme for schools. At the same time, we are steadfast in our belief 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 — the aspects of history that cannot be consigned to archives. This dedication distinguishes us as the sole organisation in the UK, and one of a few worldwide, committed to exploring remembrance through the medium of artistic practice. Our approach transcends the mere recounting of history; it is an active reimagining of remembrance for the contemporary era. The wholehearted and dedicated involvement of the survivor community last year has deeply affirmed our conviction in this innovative approach.”