Artists Auschwitz collection on display

Some of the works on display
Some of the works on display

Local artist Gordon Cockburn had the first public showing of his documentary film “The Visit” in the Carrick Centre, Maybole recently.

As well as a viewing of the film there was a display of a selection of his art work from the Auschwitz collection.

The exhibition took place on Friday, May 8 with an open day on the Saturday.

These were well attended and both events have received extremely positive feedback with many of those attending stunned by the power and emotion behind these works.

The evening was further enhanced by a performance from actor John Cairney who recited the poem, “Never Shall I Forget” written by Elie (Eliezer) Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Mr Cairney’s emotive rendition of this work was truly magnificent and greatly appreciated by all.

The film and series of paintings has been the cumulative work of Gordon Cockburn since he commenced working on these pieces from the early 1990s following a visit to Auschwitz.

He continues to work on new studies believing that there will be a natural conclusion to this collection.

His art can be fully appreciated simply for the tremendous talent it showcases, however its intrinsic message behind the visual imagery of “man’s inhumanity to man” takes this non-selling collection to another platform.

The educational purpose of these works in respect of remembrance of the horrific Holocaust years alongside the conscience-raising of pertinent issues in today’s society regarding racism, prejudice and discrimination has been acknowledged by many.

The education minister from the Scottish Government has endorsed use of some of the imagery from these paintings to be incorporated into an interactive learning tool for young people to be rolled out across Scottish schools with the artist hoping to have the opportunity for some dialogue between himself and young people.

Gordon feels that this collection transcends age, creed, gender and class. Discussion too is happening between the artist and various galleries nationally and globally with the purpose of securing appropriate exhibition spaces and a permanent home for a selection of the paintings.

This is an exhibition well worth visiting and those unable to attend the recent weekend events can visit the Cockburn Gallery Maybole where a permanent display is now housed and rotated in the upper gallery.

For a preview prior to any visit or to satisfy your curiosity, access Gordon’s website www.cockburngallery.com and view a selection from this challenging and remarkable collection.

Present opening hours are Thurs/Fri/Sat 11 – 4pm.