New UK exhibition showcases Treblinka Holocaust findings

“The exhibition is an important educational resource which will increase public knowledge about the terrible atrocities perpetrated at Treblinka."

Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls, Centre of Archaeology

The findings of a seven-year research project by Staffordshire University's Centre of Archaeology are going on display in the UK for the first time.

Finding Treblinka which opens at the Wiener Library in London today showcases the work of Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls who led an archaeological investigation which uncovered Nazi extermination and labour camps in Treblinka, Poland.

The team conducted the first ever archaeological surveys of the site and used a combination of traditional archaeological methods and groundbreaking non-invasive research techniques including satellite imagery, GPS and mapping techniques to avoid excavation.

The project also represented an innovative collaboration between archaeologists and artists from Staffordshire University. Following the in-field investigations, Michael Branthwaite, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Staffordshire University, invited a number of artists to respond to the archaeological findings.

The research findings were first presented at Treblinka on completion of the project last Autumn.

The display at the Wiener Library in London will provide visitors with a new history of the crimes perpetrated in Treblinka, where almost one million people are known to have died during the Holocaust.

Caroline said: “The exhibition is an important educational resource which will increase public knowledge about the terrible atrocities perpetrated at Treblinka.

“More than seventy years after these events, new technologies and methods are revealing new information about what happened at the camps and we hope that the exhibition will go some way to ensuring that this important history is never forgotten.”

The exhibition features items from the Wiener Library's collection and artworks ranging from text-based wall works to free standing sculpture. Re-appropriated objects also feature including a re-upholstered chair exhibiting motifs from the objects found during the excavations at Treblinka.

Michael added: “The artists responses have been driven by their individual practice and concerns over how specialist scientific information can be communicated to a wider audience. It explores how we process and build histories around objects, and how science and art can come together to enhance public knowledge about sensitive and traumatic events.”

Finding Treblinka opens at the Wiener Library on 6 July 2016 and will run until mid-September. Find more information here.

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