Suitcase for Sir Nicholas

By Walker Technology College, Newcastle

A group of students (ranging from ages 11-18), have chosen to dedicate their project to the life and bravery of Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia. Our students have created an installation project which seeks to embrace Winton’s kindness, modesty and heroic legacy.

You can read Sir Nicholas Winton’s life story here.

The students have created a suitcase installation, influenced by their personal responses to the plight of the evacuated children, and which seeks to represent the experiences and difficulties that they may have faced during the Holocaust. Working with a range of objects, texts and artistic materials, the students were inspired by a guest visit from Lady Milena Grenfell Baines, who was one of Sir Nicholas’ saved children. In groups, the students came together to identify the most significant or important items that might have been carried by the children who were forced to leave their homes and loved ones behind. This included a variation of both sentimental and practical items, such photographs, warm clothing, games, letters and books. Alongside the individualised suitcases displayed, each with its own identification number, the artwork also features an extract from a beautifully written poem by Milena’s sister Eva, based upon her own experience of being an evacuee and being saved. Among the cases, there is a photograph of Sir Nicholas, both in his youth and in his final years. Beside this, is a large closed suitcase featuring his name on a luggage tag, and a candle which burns bright in his memory. This is our suitcase for Sir Nicholas.

This artwork was commissioned by HMDT.

Facilitators:
Hannah Wilson, Project Coordinator & David Jackson (Head of Art Department)

Participants:
Megan Straker
Adam O’Connor
Amber Cole
Abbie Davidson
Jayde Callahan
Tippi Milligan
Primrose Matende
Hannah Henry
Laura Elliot
Paige Callaghan
Ben Rames
Tyrone Wynyard
Lewis Fiddes
Liam Straughan
Alex Lovell
Sarah Lumsden
Lauren Lyddon-Slee

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