A mass artwork celebrating 100 years of women voting, in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.
PROCESSIONS, 10 June, 2018.
PROCESSIONS was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the WWI centenary, and based on an original idea by Darrell Vydelingum.
It was produced by the Artichoke Trust, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
PROCESSIONS Cardiff was produced by Artichoke in partnership with Wales Millennium Centre for Festival of Voice.
Extending the parliamentary franchise to women had been a contentious issue before 1918, with many women’s suffrage groups – most famously, the National Union for Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), led by Millicent Fawcett, and the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU), led by Emmeline Pankhurst – campaigning for decades for the right to vote.
Many of these brave suffragists and suffragettes were imprisoned for the cause, and suffered the pain and indignity of force-feeding following hunger strikes.
Their tireless demonstrating helped to reshape political opinion in the UK – as did WWI, which brought about a new-found appreciation for women’s capabilities as they took over traditional ‘male’ roles during wartime.
These included arts organisations, such as Crafts Council, Turner Contemporary and the Jerwood Gallery, as well as female prisoners (Clean Break), disabled women (DASH) and refugees (Scottish Refugee Council).
Together the banners represent and celebrate the diverse voices of British women and girls today.