Women of the Interest Zone
Trevor Avery was awarded individual funding support from Arts Council England to carry out research in order to develop a project that focused on women who had survived the concentration camps. It was an initiative that emerged following his work with Rosemary Smith that had looked at Raisko, a concentration camp associated to Auschwitz, that had been principally used women as slave labour in its experiments on the production of rubber from dandelions.
The women who Trevor focused on were Minia Jay and Mala Tribich, both of whom had a personal connection to him and his work.
Minia was one of the 300 young survivors who came to the Lake District in 1945. Mala, meanwhile, had a subtly different but unique connection. She recovering in Belsen after her liberation when she heard from her brother Ben Helfgott and therefore learned that she was not the sole survivor of her family.
The journey that Trevor was to take involved following aspects of experiences that Minia and Mala had taken during their Holocaust experiences, and also their experiences and lives after their survival. This was intended to be a journey that would travel through time and experience, through emotions and sensitivities, and would be a muse on the powers of human resilience to overcome dreadful circumstances and included Auschwitz, Prague, Theresienstadt, Ravensbrück, Berlin and Windermere.
A Place on Earth – The Auschwitz Album
‘A Place on Earth’ at Lake District Holocaust Project in Windermere was from Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, and told the background story to a photograph album that shows in detail the arrival of a transport of Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was the first time the exhibition had been exhibited in the UK.
Many of the children and youngsters who came to the Lake District in the summer of 1945 had passed through Auschwitz at some point in their horrific journey through the Holocaust so this exhibition is of great significance to the Lake District Holocaust Project.
The photos in the album were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944 by Nazi officials.
The photos show the arrival of Hungarian Jews in the summer 1944. For this purpose a special rail line had been extended from the railway station outside the camp to a ramp inside Auschwitz Birkenau itself. Many of the photos in the album were taken on the ramp and also show aspects of the selection process.
Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused and distributed to the barracks. The rest were sent to the gas chambers.
This exhibition offers some explanation and context for The Auschwitz Album, which is the only surviving visual evidence of the process leading to mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The album is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier in 1980.
It is assumed that the album was prepared as an official reference for a higher authority, as were photo albums from other concentration camps.
Holocaust & Memory Reframed – Parts 3 and 4
Part 4 – Yromem
Miroslaw Balka concluded this project with a powerful installation entitled ‘Yromem’.
The installation “yromem” in 2017 included three pieces. As you entered the gallery, a pencil drawing “Modulor/AF/1944 – 2015” referenced the architect Le Corbusier’s Vitruvian Man. Anda Rottenburg describes how Miroslaw “blew up the original 1943 Modulor drawing to life-size dimensions. He added one small line at the height of 162.5cm, Anne Frank’s height, just before she was deported to Auschwitz”. Anda Rottenburg, Pursuing Meaning, Fleeing Meaning from CROSSOVER/S catalogue, Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, 2017.
mapL projects a video recording of “looking through a camera at a schematic map of Lublin at the museum in Majdanek with, marked on it, places of executions and places of segregation and internment marked in red and black”. Marek Gozdziewski, from Fragment catalogue, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw 2011.
The map was projected onto salt contained within a steel frame. For Miroslaw, salt is a very important material – it’s use reflecting “more globally for European Culture to the area around the Dead Sea in Israel” and by referencing it to “dry tears”.
A second drawing Concentration Camp was made using charcoal in the second half of the 1970s. This was produced after Miroslaw’s first visit to the remains of the concentration camp, Majdanek near Lublin whilst he was at primary school. It contains the iconic images that are related to the Holocaust – the barack, the watchtower and the chimney. These “terrified” Miroslaw but became “elements of a very important vocabulary” for him.
Part 3 – Hidden Threads
The third exhibition from July 6 – August 27, as part of the Holocaust & Memory Reframed Project, was by Heather Belcher, a renowned Textile artist. Her exhibition featured an overcoat, modelled on one made by Mayer Hersh, a child Holocaust Survivor who had stayed in the Lake District in 1945. The exhibition showed just how powerful the links are between clothes, memory and history.
Arza Helfgott – In Harmony
The beautiful sculptural work by Arza was a perfect inclusion in our programme for 2017. For abstract and semi abstract work to function it must be the ideal vehicle for people to look and meditate, and for the impact to reach regions of the mind that are contemplative.
The Auschwitz Dandelion
An individual Arts Council Award to Trevor Avery for exhibition, workshops and publication. Trevor worked with both Rose Smith & Neasden Control Centre. An exhibition was displayed in April and May 2017.
For further details and more photographs about any of these exhibitions please visit
Holocaust & Memory Reframed – Parts I and 2
The aim of the project ‘Holocaust and Memory Reframed’ was to produce a series of international art installations and initiatives based at the Lake District Holocaust Project over two summer and autumn periods in 2016 and 2017.
The four exhibitions look at work that explores aspects of Post Holocaust arts and culture and relate to “the representation of the unrepresentational”.
Part I – The Memory Quilt
The first exhibition from 9 June to 3 September 2016 was The Memory Quilt – a series of four hangings, sections of which were made by some of the Holocaust Survivors and their families.
Part 2 – Breath becomes Air
Breath becomes Air, was an installation by Ian Walton displayed from 9 September to 29 October 2016. Ian travelled to locations in Krakow and Prague during which he encountered Auschwitz Birkenau and Theresienstadt. It is notable that he made these journeys unknowingly at the same time as LDHP was emerging in Windermere. This synchronicity is heightened by the fact that that there were children from Poland and Hungary amongst those who came to Windermere in 1945, and a significant number of the three hundred children had passed through Auschwitz before being finally liberated at Theresienstadt.
‘Flowers of Auschwitz’
The exhibition and a garden project in the grounds of the library were inspired by the book of the same name, ‘Flowers of Auschwitz’ by Zinovii Tolkatchev, a solider and artist. Tolkatchev was one of the liberators of Auschwitz Birkenau and his drawings of the surviving children, made at the time, have remarkable tenderness and compassion.
The project, by Trevor Avery and Rose Smith, linked a nursery garden and farm at Rajsko in Poland with the LDHP in Windermere. It looked at the beginnings of the nursery garden and its proximity to Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum and provided a link to the iconic book.
In the 1940s an old schoolhouse at Rajsko marked the entrance to a vast complex of greenhouses that Jewish prisoners, imprisoned some two miles away at Auschwitz Birkenau, built and worked in. They were initially used to grow a variety of dandelion for experiments with the production of a synthetic rubber. Later vegetables and fruit were grown specifically for the Nazis who lived and worked at Auschwitz and other concentration camps in the surrounding area.
Although there is now a commercially run garden nursery growing geraniums and chrysanthemums in adjacent buildings, the original greenhouses have remained virtually untouched since 1945.
The exhibition ‘Flowers of Auschwitz’ told the story of these greenhouses, with images and footage of the site put on public display for the first time in the UK. In the garden a colour coded selection of flowers and shapes were planted by over 50 primary school children from Windermere.
A CCTV camera beamed footage from the out of bounds basement of the library building onto a monitor placed, under Miroslaw Balka’s direction, in the window of the main gallery where the permanent exhibition From Auschwitz to Ambleside is displayed.
Both the careful positioning of this monitor within the gallery and the film itself created a dialogue with the darkness of the haunting moving film “Nacht und Nebel”, a second film by Balka. ‘Nacht-und-Nebel’ was a secret Nazi operation that started in 1941 where thousands of people ‘disappeared’. The film was shot during a foggy night in January 2014 in a forest near the artist’s studio in Poland.
Subtle relationships were created between the darkness and the passage to the light, both figuratively and literally.
The basement carries with it the chill spectre of an unidentified presence and creates an immediate atmosphere between light and dark, hot and cold, preservation and decay, freedom and captivity. This basement is not accessible and yet we can see it through the lens of a camera. We look into a forbidden, unknown space.
The symbolism of the basement film and DVD “Towards the Light” is more complex than first appears and is infinitely more so when set against the film “Nacht und Nebel” which was exclusively on loan for display in late 2015.
From Calgarth to Windermere – the Droomer Estate
Further information is available at
Droomer Estate, a classic “council estate” of the immediate post war era, was built on the outskirts of Windermere as part of the British Government’s national mass housing programme of the time. However this was a post war housing development with a unique and significant difference tied in with the aftermath of World War Two.
The temporary war time estate at Calgarth that housed both workers at the Flying Boat Factory and, at the end of the war, child Holocaust Survivors, was eventually demolished and many of its inhabitants moved to the Droomer Estate in the early 1950s.
This project involved interviewing and collecting oral histories from residents and research at local and national Archives.
FLYING BOATS AND FELLOW TRAVELLERS
This project involved collecting oral histories from people associated with the WW II Sunderland Flying Boat Factory and the associated housing estate at Calgarth in the Lake District.
For further information please visit
The Tier Project 2012
How does it feel to be a refugee in a strange place? Nothing looks familiar, the language is hard to understand and although relieved to have escaped danger, the future is uncertain and frightening.
The TIER initiative was a schools and education workshop where children were introduced to Nowhereland. They were introduced to personalized passport controls and ID cards before living out, through role playing, real examples of refugees to the UK who were escaping danger and hardship.
The Paradise Project 2012
Over five hundred children from throughout South Lakeland and a powerful contribution from children in Poland saw each child producing a specially commissioned painting on canvas. They presented their version of paradise, a 21st Century take on an age old notion.
Their work was dedicated to all those children who suffer at the hands of cruelty and prejudice wherever they may live.
This Arts Council England supported exhibition was exhibited in nine venues across the region including a central hub at the newly established base for Lake District Holocaust Project in Windermere.
Where Once We Walked
Where Once We Walked is part of a long-term collaboration with sound artist Mark Peter Wright. A live performance premiered the work on September 15th 2011, St Mary’s Church, Windemere UK. The performance was based entirely upon location recordings gathered from the Polish homes, villages and surrounding environments of the child Holocaust Survivors who came to the Lake District in 1945.
The listeners were guided through an auditory mosaic of fields, monasteries, streets and ceremonies, of the places and people ‘where once we walked’. To coincide with the performance a limited release of 150 CD copies were also produced. The work has also been performed and broadcast at the Tate Britain (UK) and Helicotrema Festival (Italy). An extract can be heard at:
The Lost Village of Calgarth 2009
Just what lies below the surface? A unique project that involved John Gater and his geophysics equipment saw his expertise utilized at the former site of Calgarth Estate, now Lake School.
The foundations and ruins of the former housing scheme emerged onto a computer screen as the results of deep scanning picked up anomalies below ground.
Talking to schoolchildren and surveying pinpointed sections of the former housing scheme resulted in a hugely important step along the road to a full Artaeological journey in the future.
A Mighty Blow for Freedom
In 1997 ‘A Mighty Blow for Freedom’ saw Another Space place the iconic sculpture by Michael Sandle, at the time Sculpture Professor in the highly influential university in Karlsruhe, in the context of its Vorticist antecedent. The sculpture was placed in full view on a flat bed truck. It toured over 1500 miles around the Highlands of Scotland as part of the Highland Festival where it featured in a commissioned film for BBC Scotland and was supported by the Scottish Arts Council.
Artists involved: Trevor Avery & Nigel Mullen
The Rock Drill and Beyond
The exhibition, ‘The Rock Drill and Beyond’, provided a unique opportunity to consider a major piece of twentieth century sculpture, and to examine the historical context and circumstances under which the sculpture was made and subsequently dismantled.
This installation allowed the fully reconstructed Rock Drill of 1913, by Jacob Epstein, to be placed in the context of the First World War.
The sculpture was exhibited alongside memorabilia, images and artifacts dating from the 1914-1918 War (obtained from museum collections and loaned by members of the public) and was the first showing for the Rock Drill in Scotland, and only the third time the full scale version had been shown in the UK.
These sculpture and objects were used to create an installation which linked Epstein’s major work of modernist art with the time of its making. This version of the Rock Drill should not be confused with the truncated bronze version on display in the Tate Gallery in London.
Six contemporary artists from Scotland were also commissioned to produce works influenced by the Rock Drill. Their pieces were placed throughout the exhibition bringing some of the concerns and issues raised by this controversial sculpture into the present day.
The exhibition was curated by Another Space and exhibited in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery between 16 May and 13 June 1998 and was followed by a tour of galleries in the Scottish Highlands.
Text from the catalogue, written by Trevor Avery, was enlarged and mounted in Thomas Hirschhorn’s U-Topia Room as part of the Common Wealth exhibition in Tate Modern in late 2004.
The following is a review by Mary Beith in The Herald Scotland
“Jacob Epstein’s Rock Drill is strikingly chilling.
The sculptor told in his autobiography how he bought a rock drill and upon it ”made and mounted a machine like a robot, visored, menacing, and carrying within itself its progeny, protectively ensconced. Here is the armed, sinister figure of today and tomorrow. No humanity, only the terrible Frankenstein’s monster we have made ourselves into . . .” The 10ft-high work – a reconstruction of the one Epstein dismantled after fatuous criticism at its public exhibition in 1913 – is on show for the first time in Scotland at the Rock Drill and Beyond exhibition in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, though it might have been better displayed on the wide landing instead of just inside glass doors where its head all but jostles with lighting tracks. The exhibition’s focus is the First World War and the response of art, with a secondary (and insufficiently examined) theme of the war’s social and economic effects on the Highlands. The war had a huge effect on an area which lost more than its share of young men to the atrocities of trench warfare. As the wildlife population soared, sporting ”guns” having opted for Flanders, a ”land fit for heroes” did not await men returning to economic collapse and two decades of dramatic population decline. The strengths of community life began to fall apart. Present-day artists were invited to respond to the Rock Drill. The result is rather tame. Where Epstein and the anarchic Marcel Duchamp – whose work is represented by a display of books and photographs – look forward to a century of alienation, the nineties artists are drawn backwards rather than ”Beyond”, meeting the vigour of the early twentieth-century artists in a bleak buffer-zone of despair. Two exceptions stand out. Gavin Lockhart’s teasing CCTV construction operates by long pebbles in metal circles suspended in a pulley system, the video screen twisting sinister surveillance into a mechanical quip with a sombre side as the camera swivels across war memorabilia and a disturbing trough of mud (latrine, trench, or both?). And Mary Rosengren’s work brings a startling, blood-red, humanised contrast to the dispiriting monochromes of much else. Daintily embroidered cards, made by wounded men and posted to women at home, are as haunting as the stark replica execution post with its genuine Arras plaque. The whole, with its contradictions and compromises, is deeply moving.”
Artists involved: Another Space, Robert Callender, Gavin Lockhart, Alex Main, Tim Pomeroy, Frank Pottinger, Mary Rosengren.
Asylrecht was a multimedia installation comprising of the film ‘Asylrecht’, a section of the Berlin Wall, and detritus from a refugee camp in Serbia. It acted as a comment on The Refugee as a Monument to the Twentieth Century.
The exhibition was curated and designed by Another Space and exhibited during the summer of 1998 in a large aircraft hangar at Highland Deephaven, a former airfield on the shores of the Cromarty Firth.
The film ‘Asylrecht’ was made by in 1948 by Peter Shankland, a Scottish film maker and author. His daughter Cathy lives in the Scottish Highlands, close to the Cromarty Firth, and was the inspiration for the project.
“In 1999 an old military aerodrome on the banks of the Cromarty Estuary, in the Scottish Highlands, was the scene for GERNIKA!, an exhibition without precedent. It showed the work of artists in the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarra, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Cuba. This was an impressive and symbolic event, structured around a seminal painting from the avant-gardist movement, and an event central to the 20th century. The painting was Picasso’s “Guernica” and the event was the Spanish Civil War. It was seen as something very unusual to art”. Gernika Peace Museum Foundation
Having been held in Scotland, Eibar and Pamplona, the exhibition moved finally to Gernika-Lumo, the city that inspired Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ and is now archived in the Gernika Museoa: Bakearen Museoa.
Artists involved: Another Space, Iñaki Elizalde, Tony Grady, Liz Ogilvie, Andrew Stenhouse, Juan Ugalde, Nelson Villalobo, Una Walker, Jose Luis Zumeta.
Subterranean Landscape Blues
Subterranean Landscape Blues was an installation comprising digital film and museological pieces and was based on the history and present day impact of the oil industry and militarism on the Highlands of Scotland, and on the Cromarty Firth in particular.
The focus of the film and installation centred on twentieth century military underground oil storage facilities in the hills above Invergordon. These cathedral sized caverns were used to store oil for the British Navy and were connected to the dock at Invergordon by underground pipelines.
These were little known and had not been filmed until this project. Subterranean Landscape Blues was a New Media Scotland Commission that premiered at Art.tm in Inverness in 2000. It also exhibited at Glasgow Film Theatre and Belmont Cinema, Aberdeen.
Artists involved: Trevor Avery & Nigel Mullen