Motive/Motif: Artist Commemorate the Suffragettes

exhibition, Suffragettes, motif, art
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HH Intern

Motive/Motif: Artists Commemorate the Suffragettes.

Charlotte Hodes (2018/19)

The 1918 Representation of the People Act was passed in government 100 years ago. To mark the anniversary, London College of Fashion (UAL) invited 20 artists to create an image that was embroidery on a handkerchief, to mark women’s suffrage.

Cloth embroidered with names of Suffragettes (Linen, cloth and embroidery- 1912)

The exhibition began with a piece of cloth that was embroidered in 1912 by Suffragettes imprisoned at Holloway Prison. Most of the seventy-eight women, whose signatures are shown, participated in demonstrations in March 1912 with the Women’s Social and Political UnionEmbroidered cloth- details (1912)

When stitching their signatures, the women use thread that referenced the Suffragettes’ colour scheme: purple for loyalty and dignity; white for purity; green for hope.

Mona Hatoum (2018/19)

The exhibition features all twenty of the contemporary handkerchiefs alongside the historic cloth and a contemporary procession banner. The handkerchiefs touch on an array of subjects including feminism, women’s empowerment and social justice.

Procession Banner- Lucy Orta with the women of HMP Downview  (Embroidery on linen, cotton, ribbons- 2018/19)

Led by artist Lucy Orta, this banner was commissioned by Historic England and engaged inmates at HMP Downview women’s prison in a collaborative project. This connected the participants to the legacy of Holloway Prison where over 1000 Suffragettes were imprisoned and was one of the most known sites associated with the woman’s suffrage campaign.

Daniel Ramos (2018/19)

Throughout the exhibition it was clear how, even though the right to vote was granted for women, there is still so much inequality and injustice seen in our modern day society.

Francesca Smith (2018/19)

Then as it does now, the needle gives women a means to express themselves, their opinion, their voice. It unites women from all social and cultural backgrounds.

After viewing the exhibition one message was clear, women may now have the right to vote but the fight isn’t over. Women will still keep fighting for equality regardless of the cost to live in an equal, fair and just world for all.

By Amy Pickard. All photos by Amy Pickard.

Exhibition Address:

Vestry House Museum

Vestry Road


E17 9NH

24th January- 9th June 2019

Free entry

Opening times:

Wednesday- Sunday

10am- 5pm

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