Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Holocaust Memorial Day marked with special exhibition by local artist

Local theatre and cinema The Dukes has mapped out how it will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2012, with events that include an exhibtion by local artist Catriona Stamp.

Holocaust Memorial Day, which has run in the UK since 2001, provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future. It's an opportunity to share the memory of the millions who were murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis last century and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.

This year, national organisers of the Day are asking people to consider what you see and hear around you, and to use your voices to speak up against hatred and discrimination. As part of that, they're inviting people to put pen to paper to create an original piece of poetry that reflects this year’s theme, Speak Up, Speak Out, which can be showcased at the UK event in January and on the HMD website.

At The Dukes, a special exhibition will be staged in the gallery from 9th - 30th January  and on 18th January , the cinema screens a film to coincide with this year’s theme.

Entitled (Dis)Placement the exhibition is by Lancaster-based artist Catriona Stamp who has been involved with the city’s commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day for 10 years.

A former Lancaster city councillor, Catriona has transformed maps into clothes as she explores how the intimate surroundings of place and clothing can affect and reflect identity with particular reference to Jewish heritage.

The resulting clothes will hang, as if on a line, empty of their owner.

Catriona collected European maps bought from a stall in Lancaster and from Carnforth Bookshop for the exhibtion, while others just arrived on her doorstep.

Catriona, who has also worked as a therapist and is interested in how people cope with trauma such as that experienced during the Holocaust and its aftermath says the use of maps for the clothes is intended to set up an initial enquiry in the viewers mind about the relationship between identity and place, asking the question – how rooted is anyone?

Catriona has had the idea of creating art from maps for a while – perhaps unsurprisingly, given that her first degree was in geography. She later took an art MA at the University of Central Lancashire and became a practising artist in the 1990s.

The exhibition text, following the roads or waterways, concerns both the culture and history of Jewish occupation, and eviction, since the 1400s to the present day.

Other events marking HMD include a screening of Oranges & Sunshine, which is being screened on 18th January. Directed by Jim Loach and starring Emily Watson, it tells the disturbing story of a social worker fighting for justice for a generation of children removed from their families, many settling in Australia.

On 26th January, young people from DT3, The Dukes youth specific space, will take part in a candlelight commemoration and celebration at Lancaster Town Hall from 6.30pm alongside NCBI Lancashire and More Music.

Students from Lytham St Anne’s College, a trust partner of The Dukes, will present a performance based on their recent visit to Auschwitz.

Young people involved in DT3’S Wireless Project plan to interview people at the event for a Diversity FM radio show in February.

• (Dis)Placement runs from January 9-30 at The Dukes gallery which is open from 10am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday.  Please call the box office on 01524 598500 to check opening times if you’re making a special journey as occasionally the space is closed to the public.

• Tickets for Oranges & Sunshine are priced £5.50/£4.50 concessions are available by phoning The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or

• To enter the national Holocaust Memorial Day poetry contest, email your poem (no more than) 200 words to by noon on Wednesday 18th January 2012. In the subject line, write poetry competition. Please include your name, date of birth and contact telephone number in the body of the email. Full terms and conditions are on the HMD website.

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