In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave the first British women the right to vote and stand for public office. One hundred years on, Processions invites women and girls across the UK to mark this historic moment, as part of a living portrait of women in the 21st century. On Sunday 10th June 2018, women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London walked together as part of this celebratory mass participation artwork.
Processions was an invitation for every woman in the country to take part in an event inspired by women for women, to honour the past, celebrate the present and aspire to a better future for all.
In addition to the events, one hundred women artists were commissioned to work with communities across the UK to create one hundred centenary banners. The banners represented and celebrated the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops.
Holloway Prison was one of the most notorious sites associated with the suffrage movement in London: over 1000 suffragettes were imprisoned there. We connected women at HMP Downview, some of whom were the final residents of Holloway, with the suffragettes through educational and making workshops, and finally the collaborative production of one of these banner artworks.
The workshops focused on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign – but importantly, they were also spaces to consider what it means to be a woman today, the power of the vote today, and our shared future.
Staff and students from LCF joined the parade in London with their art work and banners. They showed off the beautiful creations and hard work of the extremely complex and faceted project which they have dedicated themselves to over the previous months. Wearing either green, white or violet, the colours of the suffragette movement, the PROCESSIONS appeared as a flowing river of colour through the city streets.
Spending the last 5 months working on intensive creative activity with HMP Downview. LCF has been on a tremendous journey for all those involved and everyone who helped along the way. We can collectively be proud of the achievements and the resonance of women’s voices from all walks of life coming together, to be part of the mass-procession of 30,000 women. It was a wonderful movement and an absolute pleasure that LCF could be a part of such a historic day.
HMP Holloway- Playing homage to the 1000 suffragettes imprisoned at HMP Holloway Prison during their struggle to obtain vote.