New Exhibition Sheds Light On The Emotional Legacy Of The Holocaust 1

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14th October 2009, 06:26pm - Views: 704


For immediate release 

9 October 2009



Out of the Dark:

the Emotional Legacy of the Holocaust

A new exhibition from the Cunningham Dax Collection, presented in association with the

Jewish Holocaust Centre

Out of the Dark brings together a selection of artworks made by survivors and children of

survivors of the Holocaust. To be opened at the

Cunningham Dax Collection





4 November 2009,

the exhibition explores the continuing psychological effects

of the Holocaust on these generations, the majority of whom are Melbourne-based. 

Artist Michelle Fox, whose parents are both Holocaust survivors from Hungary, examines the

idea of the loss of her extended family through a detailed and intricate installation work

(pictured above). 

“I have always had a sense of missing history. I had no idea where my grandparents went to

school or grew up, or my parents for that matter. I counted the people I should have known.

When I had finished counting, the number I reached was over 30 people…” Michelle Fox,


This exhibition is the culmination of a two-year collaborative project between the Jewish

Holocaust Centre and the Cunningham Dax Collection. With assistance from Gail Rockman,

an art therapist, the Collection has acquired over one hundred works, made by those who

carry direct or indirect memories of the Holocaust. 

The exhibition seeks to highlight the challenges of being part of a survivor family, the good

and bad dealt with every day; to have survived, but to have lost so much; a deep

appreciation for the good things in life, but a constant memory of the worst that life can


Curator Juliette Hanson found the experience of working with the artists both challenging and


“When confronting the subject of the Holocaust the darkness is overwhelming. But when I

met and began working with the artists, I was struck by their strength, perseverance, hope

and positivity.”

The exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, sculptures, textiles and installation works,

each representing a unique and compelling story of physical and mental survival.


“The story behind Eva Marks’ textile piece ‘Donkey’ is a wonderful example of how personal

hardship can be transformed into something good. At the age of six Eva had to give up her

only doll in a Siberian gulag. After liberation she and her mother made and sent hundreds of

dolls and toys to orphanages and children’s hospitals. The piece ‘Donkey’ is an example of

these” said Juliette Hanson.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a program of talks by artists, presentations by experts

in the field, professional development and an art-making workshop.  

People Feature The Cunningham Dax Collection 2 image

People Feature The Cunningham Dax Collection 3 image


For immediate release 

9 October 2009



Out of the Dark: the Emotional Legacy of the Holocaust

21 October 2009 (open to public) – 23 January 2010

Official Opening: 7pm Wednesday 4 November

To be opened by Geraldine Doogue

The Cunningham Dax Collection

35 Poplar Road, Parkville, 3052

Open 10am – 4pm Wed – Fri, 1 – 5pm Sat & Sun

The Cunningham Dax Collection consists of over 12,000 creative works by people who experience

mental illness and/or psychological trauma. It is the largest such collection in the southern hemisphere

and the third largest in the world. Based in Parkville, the Collection presents an annual program of

exhibitions and has an active touring program with exhibitions traveling regularly through regional

Victoria and interstate. 

Established 25 years ago, the Jewish Holocaust Centre is dedicated to the memory of the six million

Jews murdered in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945. Its core objective is to safeguard human

rights and liberties by fostering respect and understanding in a culturally diverse community. Aside

from providing an internationally recognised education, research and collections facility, the Centre

offers a fully guided Museum experience which includes an eyewitness account by a survivor of the


For further information, interviews with artists or Juliette Hanson (Curator), or images please

contact: Kirsten Kachab, Public Relations and Development Officer  

Tel: (03) 9342 2394, M: 0402 439 217 E: 

Image credits: Michelle Fox, People I should have known or should have known more, (installation

detail), 2009, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Public Programs

2 – 5pm Sunday 15 November, Art as Therapy: a practical art-making workshop

Bookings essential: 9342 2394

6pm Thursday 19 November, Art, Memory and the Museum: Andrea Witcomb (Assoc Prof, Research;

Deakin University), Juliette Hanson, (Curator) and Gail Rockman (Art Therapist).

6pm Thursday 26 November,Trans-generational Trauma: the social phenomenon of the

self-help group in dealing with trauma, with Paul Valent, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. To be

repeated 2pm Sunday 13 December at the Jewish Holocaust Centre.

1pm Sunday 6 December, Artist Talks: Eva Marks and Rena Hoffman

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