This year is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification to vote for the first time in the UK. I spent some time researching the activity of the suffragettes during this period and decided to make a piece that reflected this with thoughts about where we are today.
Over 1,000 Suffragettes and 40 men were incarcerated as criminals and have still not been pardoned. The work in progress is a patchwork, which will be made from over 1,ooo fabric squares, each hand printed with a prison arrow based on the image of a brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst awarded to WSPU prisoners to honour their sacrifice.
I travelled to a small garment factory in Harlow, to get the fabric cut into squares
I made stamps from small lino blocks
Now I have started sewing the squares together, they are being sewn one on top of the other so the frayed edges are on show
The squares are 8cm each so it should be approximately 2m wide and over 3m long. It will be hung on a pole to imitate a banner which played an important part of their movement, using embroidery and appliqué so often associated with women, to highlight femininity as a strength, not a weakness.
Meanwhile, back at the Draw studio, some watercolours from March