Cumbria Crack

Lake District Holocaust Project welcomes exhibition from leading contemporary artist

Contemporary artist Miroslaw Balka (Copyright White Cube Gallery)

[M]iroslaw Balka, a contemporary artist from Poland, is set to install a tantalising exhibition in Windermere in September.

The exhibition, titled ‘yromem,’ has been commissioned by the Lake District Holocaust Project (LDHP) and will open to the public on 9 September in Windermere.

Residents of the Lake District and visitors to the area will have a unique opportunity to see work by an artist who has previously exhibited in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, Venice Biennale on a number of occasions, and recently held a retrospective alongside Anselm Kiefer at the astonishing Pirelli Hangar Bicocca exhibition space in Milan.

The exhibition in Windermere is the final stage of a remarkable two year programme called “Holocaust and Memory Reframed” which has been curated by LDHP with the support of Arts Council England. ‘yromem’ is the last of four exhibitions which look at work that explores aspects of Post Holocaust arts and culture and relate to “the representation of the unrepresentational”.

Through deceptively simple gestures Miroslaw Balka uses drawings and constructions that give powerful reflections on ritual, hidden memories and the history of Nazi occupation in Poland. Balka is a resident of Warsaw and his work deals with both personal and collective memories, especially in relation to his Catholic upbringing and the collective experience of Poland’s fractured history.

Sir Nicholas Serota, former head of Tate Modern and now Chair of Arts Council England, describes this Cumbrian outing for a major international artist: “Miroslaw Balka is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists and his work is both beautiful and unsettling. There could be no finer or appropriate context for one of his exhibitions than the Lake District, the spiritual home of English Romanticism, which also has connections to one of the defining moments of human history, the Holocaust.”

Sir Nicholas continues: “Miroslaw’s work is informed by many concerns, but especially the impact of the Holocaust and the identity of communities. Miroslaw grew up in Otwock, near Warsaw, and his work remains rooted in the place of his birth.”

Trevor Avery, Director of the Project, says: “This is a moment of great significance for the project in Windermere. Our connection to the child Holocaust Survivors who came in 1945 is both commemorative and educational at its heart. There is also a sense of time passing and Miroslaw is just the best there is at dealing with issues of history, memory, fracture and all carried out with captivating visual and conceptual poetry.”

Contributions from Kazia Redzisz, Senior curator at the Tate, and Marek Gozdziewski, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, make this a remarkable moment for the Lake District and its connections to the Holocaust.

Miroslaw Balka’s ‘yromem’ exhibition takes place at the Lake District Holocaust Project at Windermere Library in Ellerthwaite from 9 September to 4 November 2017. For more details visit or contact [email protected] /07790 720043.

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