Artist Antonia Stowe’s design concept is to place each button individually onto the surface of a teardrop form and to cast the shape in metal. Six teardrop forms will reference the 6 million+ Jews and others murdered during the Holocaust, and in genocides since World War II. Each button placed on the surface will help to make up the many millions of tears of those murdered and those left behind who grieve for them.
This idea also relates to the individual droplets that form clouds which travel across continents, bringing the rain that feeds the springs in the mountains. This water falls into the rivers, lakes and oceans surrounding our continents of peace and atrocity. The remnants and traces of life, like the ashes and corpses of those murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, eventually mix into the soil, seeping into the rivers that flow around the world to feed new life. This connection between water, land and human spirit provides a strong metaphorical and geographical layer of meaning to the teardrops of the 6 million+ memorial sculpture.
The Education Programme
The memorial sculpture will be the focal point for three years of educational activities and community events on the university campus and further afield, the start of what we plan to be a continuing programme, drawing on the expertise our team has gained over the past nine years. School and college groups will have access to archive material and engage in a series of visits and creative arts projects exploring their feelings about the Holocaust and other genocides, encouraging positive action to address prejudice and discrimination.
A programme co-ordinator will initiate a series of indoor and outdoor events related to the sculpture. The site will be available for remembrance, memorial and celebratory events, organised in collaboration with the University, Kirklees Council and a range of cultural groups.