Bury College art students create Warth Mills exhibition

2nd May 2018

Over at Bury College, one of our project partners, an amazing group of art students have been working on their own exhibition to commemorate the internment of thousands of innocent men at Warth Mills in Bury during World War II.

Bury College art students

40 students from across Art and Design, Games Design and Interactive Media courses took part in the live brief and will be showcasing their work at Mill Gate Shopping Centre and The Met from 18–24 June 2018 – which is also Refugee Week.

Their works of art will help tell the story of Warth Mills – a little-known UK internment camp, where Italian, German and Austrian men were locked away during WWII. Amongst its residents were many significant artists including Kurt Schwitters and Paul Hamann.

One of the students, 17-year old Jasmine Watson – a former pupil at Bury Church of England High School – said: “I really enjoyed working on the live brief. It was a great experience to work on a hands-on project and learn something new about history in Bury.”

If this is the first time you’ve come across the Warth Mills Project, then welcome! We’re creating a digital archive, exhibition and programme of events in summer 2018 to tell the story of a British WWII internment camp that’s shrouded in mystery. We’ll uncover the story of Warth Mills and its internees, who included hundreds of Italians who had resided in Britain for decades and German Jews who had fled Nazi death camps. Internment ended with the sinking of the SS Arandora Star, when hundreds of men who had been brought from Bury drowned on the way to Canada on July 2, 1940 after the boat was torpedoed.

Our project leader, Richard Shaw of Unity House, said: “The internment of Italians and German Jewish refugees has never really been explored and few people know about the full history of Warth Mills. We are delighted that Bury College is helping to pay tribute to the hundreds of men who never made it home to their families.”

Find out more about our events programme, that kicks off on 18 June 2018.

You can also see a version of this blog post as a press release, and access media resources on our press page.

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Welcome to the Warth Mills Project

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