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The Trauma of Persecution and Loss of ‘Home’ Are Poignantly Expressed Through Art in New Linen Hall Exhibition


Launching on 10 January, Torn From Home: Remembering the Holocaust expresses the horror and long-term repercussions of conflict felt by affected people through a series of textiles, personal items and other artwork. It also highlights the resilience and determination of those caught up in war to hold on to memorabilia and objects that are a vivid reminder of what they have left behind.  The exhibition marks two significant 2019 dates: Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, and the 90th anniversary of WWII diarist Anne Frank’s birth in June. 

There’s no place like home,’ claimed Dorothy in the iconic movie The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939 on the cusp of WWII during which millions would be torn from their homes and subjected to horrors the like of which the world had never witnessed. The exhibition Torn From Home: Remembering the Holocaust encourages audiences to reflect on how enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ may be part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution.

On show for the first time are a number of personal items with immense historic significance to the owners: a lock for a trunk that was used by Red Cross refugees striking out on a new journey from Naples to Argentina in the aftermath of WWII; a table napkin used during a stay at a refugee camp in Naples; and a tape lace centerpiece made in 1905 that survived a WWII concentration camp.

Other items on display include elaborate tapestries titled Blood Trail and Never again! depicting the entrance to the notorious German WWII concentration camp Auschwitz where many lost their lives through starvation and torture. Both were created by artist Heidi Drahota “to remind (the world) that these things must never happen again.”

Another remarkable tapestry is Stitches of Life by prize-winning textile artist Ana Zlatkes depicting children being led to safety away from the Nazis in WWII. Ana says: “Genocide continues, changes in form and geographical location, but it is still a reality and it is the responsibility of all of us to try to prevent it.”

Artwork from other theatres of conflict, each of which has a unique and, often times, harrowing story to tell, are also included.Featured is a series of illustrations themed around WWII diarist Anne Frank. Copies of the recently published book Anne: An imagining of the life of Anne Frank  by Marjorie Agosín and illustrated by Francisca Yáñezwill be available to purchase. Anne’s family went into hiding in Amsterdam during WWII but were betrayed and caught by the Nazis. They were sent to concentration camps where all perished except Anne’s father who went on to publish her world-famous diaries.

Exhibition curator Roberta Bacic, a lecturer, researcher and activist, says: ‘It is significant to be marking Holocaust Day 2019 at the Linen Hall Library with the exhibition Torn From Home: Remembering the Holocaust.

‘Each year the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust selects a theme, and the one for 2019 is ‘torn from home’. It encourages us to explore, discuss, expose, sympathise and engage in dialogue about the Holocaust and genocide.  It enables us to connect to people caught in the crossfire of past and present wars, who are forced to flee and abandon their homeland and their country in their quest for a safe place to survive and live.  It also invites people to act in solidarity bearing in mind that there is always something we can do when confronted with the horrors of war.

‘This exhibition brings to light pieces never shown before that were part of private collections that survived  persecution, the Holocaust, long journeys and time.  They have now become part of the Conflict Textiles collection.”

Roberta Bacic will also give a guided tour revealing the fascinating stories behind the exhibition items on Monday 28 January at 11am.

Torn From Home: Remembering the Holocaust runs from 10 January – 28 February and is free to view.

For more information about Torn From Home and the Linen Hall Library please visit our website at www.linenhall.com

(image details: ‘Blood Trail’ by Heidi Drahota. Courtesy of Conflict Textiles.)



Pictures and interviews are available on request. Contact Linen Hall Library Head of Digital and Marketing Comms Rachel Wetherall at r.wetherall@linenhall.com or tel: 028 9032 1707.

For more information about: 

Holocaust Memorial Day – https://www.hmd.org.uk

Conflict Textiles  – http://cain.ulster.ac.uk/conflicttextiles

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