(Extra)Ordinary Portraits

KLS Member is a winner of competition marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

We are enormously proud of our member, Alison Simmons, for being one of the thirty young artists chosen to feature in a digital exhibition marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2023.

[Extra]Ordinary Portraits is a collection of artworks that reveal the ‘extraordinary elements of seemingly ordinary people’. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust partnered with The Royal Drawing School and asked young people across the UK to learn about someone affected by the Holocaust, genocide or identity-based persecution and create a portrait of them. An expert judging panel has chosen thirty to be displayed for the exhibition.

Alison’s portrait of Bronia

Alison, 25, chose to draw fellow KLS member, Bronia Snow, who came to the UK on the Kindertransport from Prague aged 11 leaving her parents and younger brother behind. The drawing – a mixture of soft pastels and oil pastels – shows Bronia sitting in front of her piano upon which are family portraits and a musical score which she brought from Prague. Alison explains “I have cut out the pin that Bronia wore on her jumper. It was an ornate silver tube where the Shema (Jewish prayer declaring faith in God) could be kept. Bronia’s was empty and she talked about struggling to believe in a God after the Holocaust”.

Upon hearing the news that she was one of the winners of the competition, Alison said “I’m honoured that my portrait of Bronia Snow has been selected for the [Extra]Ordinary Portraits Exhibition. It was really special to spend time with her and draw her.”