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Sunderland artist’s commemorative sculpture goes on display for Holocaust Memorial Day

Neil Molloy alongside his Displacement Theory sculpture, commissioned for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Neil Molloy alongside his Displacement Theory sculpture, commissioned for Holocaust Memorial Day.

A COMMEMORATIVE sculpture by a Sunderland artist has gone on show in time for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Former Sunderland College fine arts lecturer Neil Molloy said his piece – Displacement Theory – is a reminder of how easy it is for such grave events to be removed from our memory.

It also suggests the displacement of survivors who may not have a home to return to after a conflict, or of goods discarded when they become too heavy to carry.

Neil said the sculpture, constructed of sacks, bundles, books and suitcases, provides “a glimpse into the identity of each owner, whose isolation and fear can only be imagined as they head towards an unknown destination.”

Next year, the artwork will grow to include further elements and be set in a permanent outdoor location.

Neil, 55, who was asked to make the sculpture by Sharon Artley, North East support worker for the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said the stone carving was challenging to make.

“Just for the subject in itself, it was quite challenging,” he said. “It is unusual in its nature.

“It’s not a traditional commemorative piece, so it was a different approach to a commemorative piece.

“Conveying visual power through mundane objects can be achieved by the sculpture portraying the isolation for example of a stone carved bundle or suitcase. This will provoke curiosity because of the uncanny location.”

Sharon said: “I am humbled by Neil’s commitment to this project. The atrocities committed during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides must not be allowed to be displaced or forgotten.

“This piece will provide a lasting memorial to all those who have suffered such persecution and serve as a physical reminder to all who see it.”

Displacement Theory will at the Durham Light Infantry Museum and Art Gallery until March 30. Holocaust Memorial Day is on Monday.

 

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