‘Stations of the Holocaust’ An Exhibition by Jean Lamb
On display at Chichester Cathedral until 17th April 2017 (free entry)
‘Incredibly moving. A powerful exhibition that will stay with me for a long time’, ‘Visually stunning and emotionally poignant’, ‘A very powerful and moving exhibition of something that should never be forgotten’, ‘An extraordinary piece of art’ (Visitors’ Book)
An unusual and striking exhibition at Chichester Cathedral is generating a powerful response from the Cathedral’s visitors. ‘Stations of the Holocaust’ by the artist and priest Jean Lamb, is comprised of fourteen ‘stations’, or artworks, which have been carved out of one large elm wood log, cast and then painted. In this exhibition Jean draws from the Christian tradition of ‘Stations of the Cross’- these being a feature of many churches and cathedrals, where each of the fourteen stations illustrate a different aspect of the final hours of Jesus’ life. However, Jean’s artworks also produce something powerfully new – into each piece Jean has also carved an arresting image from the Jewish Holocaust, showing the Jewish people as they were forced into ghettos, tortured and executed.
The background to this exhibition was deeply personal for the artist, after visiting Auschwitz in 1997 she carved one station each year from 1999 to 2012, beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing through Lent. On average each station took five months to complete and Jean fasted throughout this process. The idea to set the last hours of Jesus’ life alongside those of the Jewish people who suffered during the Holocaust, came to her after years of consideration. Jean’s childhood had been spent listening to her parents personal stories about the Second World War. Her mother was born in Germany and the family moved to Berlin in 1935, surviving Allied bombings and Russian occupation. Her father was born in London, he survived a bomb exploding on the family home in 1941 and the many Doodle Bug flying bombs of 1944. This history propelled Jean, from a young age, to think about the consequences of the Second World War for both England and Germany and in particular what the Holocaust has meant for the Jewish people.
Jean is a professional artist and priest in the Church of England with over 30 years’ experience of making art. She graduated from Reading University in 1979, specialising in Fine Art, and then continued her studies in Theology, obtaining an Oxford Certificate in Theology in 1984. Jean describes herself as ‘motivated by her faith to express the love of God through art’ explaining that, ‘the stations were carved with prayer and devotion to the Jewish people who perished at the hands of the Nazis’.
The exhibition is in the Cathedral’s North Transept and is open daily with free entry until 17th April. For more information please call 01243 782595 or visit http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/whats-on/stations-of-the-holocaust.shtml