Tracy Satchwill

magna carta women

Artwork that captures 800 years of women's journey for human rights

In 2015 the anniversary of the Magna Carta was celebrated with school days, festivals, published books, period dramas, documentaries, operas, plays and an extensive international tour of the four remaining charters. These activities commemorated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta: a time to understand the crucial role the charter has played, nationally and internationally, and celebrate the individual rights we enjoy today. 

I responded to these celebrations by creating a playful collage that captured the journey of British women over the last 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta. The 4-piece panel highlighted some of the notable women and men that have had an influence on British women and their long and arduous journey towards individual rights and freedoms. The theatrical collage was inspired by stained glass windows, the main visual art form of the Magna Carta era and featured Mary Wollstonecraft, Emily Pankhurst, Catherine of Aragon, Janet Horne (last woman in the British Isles to be executed for witchcraft), Barbara Castle and Laura Bates(founder of the Everyday Sexism Project).  There were also a few men included, such as John Stuart Mill, George Lansbury and Laurence Housman, who all championed women's rights. King John was featured signing the Magna Carta, which formed the pathway.

The project was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Royal Holloway University and toured England during 2015. The four piece panel visited 17 venues across Southern England including Guildhall Art Gallery in City of London, Runnymede pop up museum, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Royal Holloway University, Sarum College, Brixham Seaworks, Surrey Historic Centre, Brunel University and other exhibition spaces. 

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