Manchester Jewish Museum

Narratives: Threadsand Testimony


Friday, 7 April - Tuesday, 9 May 2023


Ladies Gallery, synagogue


Included in General Admission to the museum. FREE for M8 Members and Annual Pass holders.

A temporary exhibition of textiles, installation and sound, exploring family history surrounding the Holocaust.

This work was made during NARRATIVES, a collaborative six-month residency by twelve artists brought together by Venture Arts, The Lowry and Castlefield Gallery, with support from associates Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust, Explorers Project and Manchester Jewish Museum. Two of the artists; Laura Nathan and Sarah Lee worked at Manchester Jewish Museum during their residency period, exploring their family stories through art.

Through conversations, Laura Nathan and Sarah Lee discovered their shared family history of the Holocaust and Jewish heritage. Both had grandparents who were makers and experienced persecution due to their beliefs. Through their explorations, Laura and Sarah attempted to understand their histories and reconcile the traumas of those who came before them.

Sarah created intimate hand embroidered pieces reinterpreting her grandfather’s experiences and the woodcarvings which he made to help process what he had been through. Sarah also gained inspiration through the repetition within the museum’s stained-glass windows and architecture.

Laura processed an overwhelming collection of family documents and testimonies through the creation of a textiles and sound-based installation.

Laura Nathan’s work at NARRATIVES exhibition at The Lowry, Salford 2023

About the artists

Sarah Lee is an artist from Venture Arts. Her work is influenced by animals, architecture, history and literature often blending these to make detailed annotations on life and the world around her. She has a collection of living sketch books and textiles which she takes everywhere she goes so she can make as she travels.

Laura Nathan is a textiles artist and an artist facilitator at Venture Arts. Her work is heavily shaped by her cultural heritage and identity. She has a Degree in Embroidery and a Masters in Art As Environment. Her projects nurture a greater sense of who we are, how we feel and our place in the world.


The exhibition contains themes related to The Holocaust, war and conflict.

It can be viewed as part of General Admission to the museum.