In 2015, we commemorated the 800 year anniversary of Magna Carta. So, as I understood from the anniversary we were celebrating the simple ideas of freedom and justice, but what about the women and their grueling journey of obstacles, prejudices and battles for the right to education, vote, equal pay and other basic human rights? This was something I was passionate about particularly the social history of women. I wanted to create something that would inspire and inform the next generation and learn more about the history of women’s rights.
Magna Carta Women captures the journey of British women since the signing of the Magna Carta, 800 years ago. The 4-piece panel highlights some of the notable women and men who have influenced British women in fighting for their rights. The theatrical collage was inspired by stained glass windows, the main visual art form of the Magna Carta era. Eve, reaching for an apple, stands next to King John signing the Magna Carta, which becomes the central pathway in the Garden of Eden. It features Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Women), Emily Pankhurst (political activist and leader of the British suffrage movement), Heizi Mirza (Professor studying educational inequalities for Black and Asian females), John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women), George Lansbury (led the campaign for women's rights in parliament) and Edith Lanchester (protester against anti-women marriage laws), who all championed women's rights.
The 50 women and men include: Marie de France, Nicolaa de la Haye, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Catherine of Aragon, Christian de Pizan, Anne Askew, Jane Anger, Rachel Speight, Margaret Fell, Bathsua makin, Margaret Cavendish, Mary Astell, Janet Horne, Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Fry, Hannah Moore, the Ladies of Llangollen, Harriet Martineau, Mary Files, John Stuart Mill, Lydia Becker, Caroline Norton, Emily Faithfull, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Helen Priscilla Rabagliati, Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, Caroline Haslett, George Lansbury, Laurence Housman, Ada Nield Chew, Lady Constance Bulwer-Lytton, Edith Lanchester, Emily Davison, Lilian Bland, Nancy Astor, Marie Stopes, Helena Normanton, Dorothy Hodgkin, Barbara Castle, Jill Sheila Tweedie, Angela Carter, Ann Oakley, Angela McRobbie, Heidi Mirza, Natasha Walter and Laura Bates.
An accompanying brochure is also available, depicting who's who.
So, as I understood from the anniversary we were celebrating the simple ideas of freedom and justice, but what about the women and their grueling journey of obstacles, prejudices and battles for the right to education, vote, equal pay and other basic human rights?
The quadriptych is available to purchase from Artfinder.
"'Inspirational art that packs a feminist punch".
Heidi Mirza, black feminist professor of race equality and women's rights.
"A witty and informative display".
Katherine Pearce, Curator, Guildhall Art Gallery