Artist Clare Twomey project to mark Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day was marked around the country on Wednesday 27 January 2016.
Artist (and Crafts Council Trustee) Clare Twomey, known for her work featuring large scale clay installations and sculpture, marked Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 by completing her project: ‘Humanity is in our Hands’.
In advance of Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust arranged for Clare to meet Nisad ‘Šiško’ Jakupović, who survived the notorious Omarska concentration camp during the Bosnian War. They discussed Nisad’s experience of the concentration camps, and how human solidarity can triumph even in horrific circumstances. Clare’s project 'Humanity is in our Hands', is a response to meeting Nisad. On Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2015, Clare invited the public to give their thoughts on the subject of humanity. With a team of volunteers she walked over Westminster Bridge from 7am until 7pm giving away 2,000 invitations to the members of the public they encountered. This invitation said:
‘Today you are invited to be part of a new work, your words will be placed on thousands of beautiful porcelain objects that will be made in the coming year. These objects will be handed back to the public as gifts on Westminster Bridge, on this date one year from now, 27 January 2016. The recipients will become the custodians of your thoughts.’
The public responded to the invitation with hundreds of beautiful texts, words and stories detailing the qualities that society could cherish to accomplish a humane society. Clare used quotes from the public to inscribe on 2,000 handmade porcelain spoons. The spoons relate to Nisad’s life story – whilst in the concentration camps he and his fellow prisoners carved spoons from wood, using a piece of broken glass. Clare’s porcelain spoons are based on one of these wooden spoons. They make a connection with nurturing, feeding and caring for each other.
Annabelle Campbell, Head of Exhibitions & Collections, received a spoon from Clare Twomey and has gifted it to the Crafts Council Collection