A dozen artworks commissioned for Holocaust Memorial Day are being unveiled across the country, with each of the 12 being situated in a different region or nation of the UK.

The permanent artworks, including sculptures, gardens, collages and murals, explore the theme of absence and the roots needed for new life after genocide, said commissioners at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT).

In London, youngsters from 20 different schools created a single artwork capable of being separated into different parts, using a variety of mixed media. The work will be captured as a photographic image and displayed at Hampton School.

“It gave us the opportunity to convey our feelings and emotions about the Holocaust and other genocides,” said Hampton student Paul Wilkinson. “We listened to the moving stories of four survivors, then we drew from their experiences, and tried to put over some sense of the horrors that they went through.”

HMD logo white space largeElsewhere, prisoners in Buckinghamshire and Northern Ireland have planted trees, produced collages and created murals, while in the north-east refugees and asylum seekers have used creative writing, wet and needle felting and fused glass.

In a Catholic school in Cheshire, students raided the herb garden for inspiration, using rosemary and lavender, symbols of memory and healing.

Organisers said the arts programme would “act as focal points for local activities this year and in years to come, providing thoughtful places of reflection in many different community settings”.

HMDT chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman said: “The programme has produced some beautiful art work and has once again shown how creative and imaginative communities can be… I hope that future generations will enjoy and learn lessons from the project.”