Pupils create moving Holocaust remembrance artwork

A Wigan borough high school has been chosen to display artwork in London as part of a national commemoration of the Holocaust.

By Charle Graham
Monday, 20th January 2020, 9:27 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 9:29 am
Pupils with their artwork
Pupils with their artwork

Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 will take place this Friday, marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In commemoration of this milestone, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust ran a project called 75 Memorial Flames which encouraged schools, organisations and community groups to submit designs on a “flame” for the chance to have their artwork displayed in London as part of the national commemoration.

A flame submitted by Bedford High in Leigh was one of 75 chosen by a panel of experts and will sit pride of place at the UK Commemorative Ceremony for World Holocaust Memorial Day next Monday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The schools flame design

Bedford student Amy, 11, was part of the group which designed the flame. She said: “I helped with the dark blue background, the light blue flame, the white of the nails and the printing.

The blue represents calmness and the white represents peace. The printing repeats the words Stand Together, which symbolises how important standing together is no matter a person’s gender or race.”

More than 300 groups from across the country registered for the project, which aimed to bring people of all kinds together to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.

Wigan Council leader David Molyneux said: “It is extremely humbling that a Wigan borough school has been chosen to nationally commemorate these tragic events in our history.

“The pupils at Bedford High have conveyed a very personal response to the Holocaust through art, which will be put on display for the whole country to see. A copy of the flame will be displayed at The Fire Within exhibition in Wigan so local people and visitors from the region can come to pay their respects and see the work.”

Bedford representatives will head to London on Monday to attend the ceremony and see the unveiling of the 75 flames.

Jean Hensey-Reynard, organiser of Holocaust memorial events in Wigan borough said: “It is a great credit to the pupils of Bedford High and new art teacher Penny Walmsley that their work was one of the 75 chosen from around the UK. They should be very proud of themselves.”

To commemorate and reflect on the Holocaust, Wigan Council, in partnership with schools and the community will hold events over two days.

On Friday remembrance events will take place in the Derby Room at Leigh Turnpike Gallery (11am to 12pm) and The Fire Within HQ in The Galleries shopping centre, Wigan, (2pm to 3pm).

Coun Molyneux will introduce the Wigan event and pupils from St John Fisher RC High will perform a drama, dance and music ensemble. Coun Nazia Rehman will introduce the Leigh event and pupils from Sacred Heart RC Primary will sing. Readings by Wigan Rotary Club will be delivered at both events alongside performances from local poetry group Leigh Paper Back Writers.

On Saturday, 11am to 3pm, The Fire Within HQ will host another event, where visitors can watch performances, talk with the children involved and write their own Holocaust reflections on a flame.